Forever 21 is a popular store chain whose major demographic of shoppers are females from the ages of teens to 20’s. So, you can understand why the chain is now under scrutiny for introducing their maternity clothing line. The line, launched at the end of June, features maternity tops and denim styles, leggings, knit and woven tops, cardigans, dresses and basics.
“The line will provide sophisticated, on-trend styles for moms-to-be at affordable prices, continuing Forever 21’s commitment to value, trend and freshness,” a Forever 21 news release said.
Critics are responding that it’s not just the fact that they will be providing maternity clothes that is causing the debate. The real issue seems to be the assertion that the company is purposely marketing to teen moms and the appearance that they are encouraging teen pregnancy. The company only has the maternity line in three states, Texas, California and Arizona. All of which are on the list of the top 15 states with the highest teen pregnancy rate.
Forever 21 Vice President released a statement saying that this all a coincidence.
“Forever 21 did not create, design or distribute Love 21 Maternity to target, or appeal specifically to pregnant teens. Any relationship between teen pregnancy rates and the locations of our stores is unintentional,” the statement said.
Believing that Forever 21 is purposely marketing or encouraging teenagers to become pregnant in order for them to have the hottest maternity clothes at their high school is absolutely ludicrous. Obviously, they are not setting out to purposely encourage teenage girls to become impregnated. They are not campaigning for more daycare centers in all high schools or advocating for more baby mama’s and baby daddy’s. What they are doing is capitalizing on the teen pregnancy issue. They can deny it all they want but I can see right through their marketing strategy. This is something that you can blame them for.
There is a large ratio of teen moms and this equates to there being a need. Where there is a need there is money to be made. Their goal is to facilitate that need. Now whether those motives and plans of action are moral or not may vary from person to person. However, in no way does Forever 21 have a new mission to mold American teen girls to become fashionable teen moms. They are more concerned with zeroing in on a need and being the first one to attack it and make money from it. If it became more fashionable for men to wear skirts then they too would attack that need as well. (Similar to how H&M did when they released their male line of skirts a few months ago. I digress.)
Parents, bible thumpers, and gossipers alike should stop trying to find someone to blame for their children’s bad behavior, mistakes and hiccups in life. It is not the fault of the video game makers if your child shoots up a school. It is not the fault of rappers if your child is on Girls Gone Wild, and it is not the fault of Forever 21 if your teenage daughter becomes pregnant. The time that they spend trying to pass the blame they could be spending talking to their children, educating them about safe sex, finding out why they are so unhappy, or who is bullying them at school and how to stop it, etc. This is where their energy should be placed. Place that time, energy and interest back into the children first and foremost. Perhaps then there would not be such a unreasonable worry about a store brand trying to encourage their daughters to be the best dressed teen mom in their school. Via: CNN
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