Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Forever 21's Maternity Line

The Gloss has been raising some hubbub over Forever 21's new maternity line (read here), noting that it is "interesting" that the line is only available in 5 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah), 3 of which are in the top 20% of states in teenage pregnancy rates. I don't find it particularly "interesting."

First, Forever 21 is hardly a strictly "teenage" store. If anything, it markets to women in their twenties and older, hoping to look (forever) 21. I mean, come on--their game is in their name, people! Also, as, having babies seems to be the latest celebrity trend, it seems natural that more stores will provide more fashionable options for pregnant women. What was once hushed up, ignored, or avoided is now celebrated by that high-style crowd--and consequently, consciously or not, by the little people, too. Celebrity mothers are fashionable, and the masses are filled with hot, indignant shame that their pregnancies are filled with sweatpants rather than silk pants. Where can they turn for affordable but stylish options? Forever 21. And it's not like pregnant women are all celeb-ophiles--it's simply that with the onset of so many beautiful women's public pregnancies, as well as the increasing amount of women in the workplace, people have begun to realize that pregnancy doesn't have to be nine months of bad taste.

The fact that their maternity line is available in all of its roomy glory online hardly indicates a teenage target audience. On the contrary, it makes the release, for all intents and purposes, a nationwide one. The Gloss conveniently glossed over that facet of the line's launch.

While I am sure that Forever 21 did their research in choosing to launch their line in states where it would be most successful, it's a move that can hardly be considered to encourage or even take advantage of teenage pregnancies. Has anyone looked at the statistics in these states for pregnancies in general? I simply submit that the majority of people buying these clothes will not be pregnant high schoolers. Just sayin'.

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