Small For All Damages Body Image

Gates Valines, Staff

Brandy Melville is canceled! Due to their one-size policy and racist and sexist allegations occurring since 2020, Brandy Melville has been on thin ice. The brand has lost customers, and employees, and has even faced lawsuits. 

Since its founding in 1970, Brandy Melville has undergone extensive design changes, scandals, and expansion. Brandy Melville is a popular clothing brand amongst teen girls. The brand tends to vary the design of their clothing based on what is trendy at the time. For instance, from around 2015 to 2018, the brand went for a more California, beachy, tightly-fitted look, but more recently has transitioned to more of a New York, ‘90s grunge look. In recent years, people have taken a step back from simply looking at the cute design of the clothing and have moved to really look at whether Brandy Melville is a truly ethical brand. 

Brandy Melville’s CEO, Stefan Marsan, is known to regularly be racist, sexist, and fatphobic. “If Stephan Marsan (CEO) thinks a girl is too heavy or unattractive, he demands that she be fired. If he decides a store has too many Black employees, he has them replaced with white women,” says Luca Rotondo, former Senior Vice President of Brandy Melville. Along with this, multiple employees have reported instances of racism and fatphobia. There have even been various issues of sexual assault occurring within the stores. Employees have even been asked to remove their clothes entirely in order to put on new ones in front of male management, sometimes resulting in sexual assault by management according to the New York Post. 

On top of those issues, former customers have also expressed concerns about the one-size policy. Brandy Melville offers only one size for all of their clothing, normally an extra small or small, but very few customers are able to fit this standard. Of course, this has negatively affected many teen girls who wish they were able to wear the trendy clothes the brand offers. This could lead teen girls to eating disorders and body image issues. Overall, Brandy Melville has contributed to racist and fatphobic standards that negatively impact many people. The industry states, “one size fits small” is not a direction to embrace.

(Above) Liberty Tillman, grade 9, is wearing a Lorene Floral Tank and Kim Pants from Brandy Melville. She bought these items because they fit her well and she loves the style but she recently claimed to disapprove of Brandy Melville’s policies, saying, “I don’t think the brand should put such a harsh limit on sizing, but since I’ve already bought the clothes I still wear them so I don’t waste money.” Photo by Gates Valines.
( Photo by Gates Valines.)
(Above) As the tag indicates, Brandy Melville is one of the only brands with a one-size policy. This normally means an extra small or a small. Simply looking at a tag without a size can put someone in a stressed and negative state of feeling horrible about their body. Photo courtesy of Sarah Pinkowski. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Pinkowski.)
(Above) Brandy Melville has opened a total of 97 stores since their founding. Inside, a shopper will find clothes all in one size. There have even been cases in which the door to the store is so small that some people even need to squeeze through. This design choice immediately alienates people and makes them feel like they don’t belong. Photo courtesy of Tim Aten.
(Photo courtesy of Tim Aten.)