One Size Fits Small

The impact one size clothing has on body image


Photo courtesy of Annabelle Harshbarger

When scrolling through Brandy Melvilles website the thing that stands out most is that lack of diversity. All the models look the same, they range from a 22’ to 24’ waist and 5’7- 5’9.

Annabelle Harshbarger, Staff Reporter

In the past years, brands like American Eagle, Target and Old Navy have launched body-positive campaigns in order to include more diverse body types. Companies do this by adding sizes and having a diverse group of models. Although many brands are expanding to spread a body-positive message, there are still companies that are stuck in the past. 

Many popular brands such as Brandy Mellvile and Hollister carry “one size fits most” clothing. But in reality, their clothing is targeted for size x-small or small. The idea behind one-size is to create a store where young girls can come and shop without worrying about size, but this lack of diversity in sizing can make the average-sized female feel like the odd one out. 

Photo courtesy of Brandy Melville
Many social media influencers are featured on Brandy Melvilles instagram. Ellie Thumann is a fashion Youtuber with 2 million followers.

Due to social media, brands like Holister and Brandy Melville are given so much hype. Influencers with millions of followers promote and model for these brands, making it seem if people cannot fit into the clothes they cannot fit into the exclusive “club”. The company uses exclusivity to make the customer feel as if they belong if they are able to fit into the clothes.  

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, teenage girls who use social media are more likely to have an internalized drive for thinness and to participate in body surveillance. These habits are unhealthy and can greatly impact young girls’ body image. 

When looking at the models from Brandy Melville’s Instagram and website it is clear that the models are a certain type: tall and slender with unrealistic beauty standards. The lack of diversity in not only the models body types,but in race shows how stuck in the past Brandy Melville really is. The company uses society’s ideal body image to create an aesthetic that will appeal to their teenage audience, but the image this gives teenage girls can be unhealthy.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 9 out of 10 women will resort to unhealthy eating habits, such as starving themselves and purging when they feel bad about their body image. These unhealthy habits can lead to eating disorders.

The negative impact that Brandy Melville has on young girls’ perceptions of their own bodies is dangerous and can lead to unhealthy eating habits. 

The truth is everyone has a different body shape and not everyone is going to fit into one size. As cliche as it sounds, people come in all shapes and sizes and more realistic sizing would attract more customers to these brands.