Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moral Dilemma in the Maternity Department


So, I have read several articles about the recent controversy involving Forever 21 introducing a maternity line marketed to teenagers and I'll be the first to say that I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, I have always been one to actually boycott stores when I disagreed with their policies. I was one of those kids who stopped buying Abercrombie because it's catalog and store front ads were basically pornographic. And it wasn't my parents who insisted. It was a decision I came to on my own, although I'm sure their pocket books thanked me when I started heading to the Old Navy to do my back to school shopping. And more recently, I have been totally on board when Peyton suggested we should basically avoid Walmart at all costs because of their bad labor practices. Clearly, I am familiar with withholding my dollars to make a statement.

And, clearly, I don't support glamorizing teen pregnancy. While shows like MTV's Sixteen and Pregnant and Teen Mom show the difficulty of being a teen with a child, they also kind of glorify it, just by virtue of making the show. There is so much in the media and in our culture that is telling girls it is okay to have a baby in your teens. That in itself is a sticky issue, because once they've gotten pregnant they really don't have that many options- abortion, adoption, relatives raising the bay, or raising it themselves. Honestly, I kind of do have to applaud them for having the courage to accept the responsability of being a parent. But are they really accepting it? This article seems to say "NO!".

But, this article had some good points and not ones I hadn't thought of. The fact is, no matter what they think their demographic is, Forever 21 has about as many people my age shopping in it as Old Navy or Target. The fact is, like the other two aforementioned stores, it carries cheap junk and that appeals as much to twenty somethings (who actually have to purchase their own clothing) as it does to teenagers, in my opinion. In fact, it wasn't until college that I became familiar with F21. Not that college is the ideal time to get knocked up, either, but it's not the same as a fourteen year old needing some maternity duds.

And here's where the temptation REALLY lies- friends, maternity clothes are HEINOUS. Or, at least the ones that fit me were. I mostly ended up wearing size medium/large regular dresses and lots of Peyton's t-shirts and finally a few things from Target online. Truth be told, it's not exactly easy to find petite maternity clothes and the places that do carry that kind of thing? PRICEY. So, there is of course, a little spark that lights up in my head when I think "Ohmigosh, juniors maternity clothes....GOLD MINE!". [One day, obviously.]

What say you?


Allison said...

I'm pretty excited about the F21 maternity line, because I shop there all the time anyway. I would rather buy clothes that are cheap and only last a couple seasons because I get tired of my clothes pretty easily. I can really see that happening with maternity clothes, too. I guess I'd never thought about it "glorifying" pregnancy, though. It probably doesn't help the teen pregnancy situation at all. Hopefully the maternity line is a little more mature than some of the other stuff they sell (that I wouldn't be caught dead in).

Good points.

Sarah Broadus said...

I agree with you. Im little too, and I am all for forever 21 maternity line. this actually excites me! Old navy and target do have cute stuff but when you are tiny and want to look 26 not like a frumpy old maid...f21 is a great place.

The Niemeyer Nest said...

It would be nice. I had a really hard time getting maternity clothes to fit that were also inexpensive!

Ashley said...

I honestly didn't have an issue at all when I heard about the whole thing. I instantly thought...well ALL ages shop there! One store carrying a maternity line doesn't glorify teen pregnancy any more than our culture already does--haha!

My problem wasn't being too small (haha!) when I got pregnant, but the STYLES killed me. I felt like I had to dress like I was 40. However, F21 doesn't always fit me that great so who knows? When baby #2 comes, I'm definitely going to give it a try, though!

Way to tackle the issue, SD!

Mary Katherine said...

I think the people that think that the Forever 21 maternity line is glorifying teen pregnancy are reacting just a little too strongly- I am a 26 year old married mother of one, and I would have given anything to have cute, affordable maternity clothes that fit with my current style! I still shop at Forever 21, and you can bet when I am pregnant with baby number 2, I will be shopping in the Forever 21 maternity section- and pregnant teenager I am not haha!

Christy said...

I saw your fb status and had to come check your post out. HA!

I was in the dark about F21's maternity line and honestly, it made me almost want to get pregnant again bc there would be some hope of cute maternity clothes.

Even if the store WAS just for teenagers and only teenagers shopped there, to me that still doesn't glorify pregnancy or encourage it. The fact is that teens get pregnant. I would much rather a teen girl have some joy in her pregnancy than be miserable over her clothes. Pregnancy is hard enough no matter what your age and they shouldn't be punished anymore than they already are. Losing their childhood's-whether it be their own fault or not-is enough IMO.

So...good for F21 :)

The Taffs said...

I wish I had heard about Forever 21's maternity line before the end of my pregnancy. I'm to the point now that I'm not buying anymore clothes for this pregnancy, but it's something I'll keep in mind for future pregnancies. Although, I do find it a little weird that a "teen" store has a maternity line, but you bring up a good point - several people our age do shop there too.

Carrie said...

I'm honestly just sad I missed out on Forever 21 maternity clothes this time around! haha