Teens are not only judged by the brands of clothes they wear, but they are also judged by the size that they wear. Adding pressure for teen girls to be thin, a popular fashion brand is only selling clothing in a size small.
According to a survey from the research firm Piper Jaffray, the Italian clothing brand Brandy Melville has become one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens.
While its Instagram -- with two million followers -- features edgy, super thin teen models showing off the clothes that include mini shorts, crop tops and other trendy California looks, only teen girls who fit in a size small are able to fit into the "cool" clothes.
The brand uses a team of teen girls to help them develop new concepts and provide feedback on designs. The girl who wears the edgy and trendy Brandy Melville brand is a girl who is white, young, typically blonde, and of course skinny. She is comfortable showing off her tummy or long legs.
To fit in their small-sized jeans, the teen would have to wear a size 0 or 2, the equivalent of a 25-inch waist. According to the CDC, the average 16-year-old girl has a waistline of about 31 inches.
With a "one size fits most" mentality, the clothing retailer branched out to the U.S. five years ago with 18 stores located in New York and California. While most sizes are small, a lucky girl might be able to hunt down a size medium by chance.
"The one size fits most clothing might turn off somebody if they don't walk into the store, but if you walk in you'll find something even if it's a bag," said Brandy Melville store owner Jessy Longo, "We just focus on making clothes and try to do our best ... not the political stuff. We aren't focused on branding a certain model or branding one race and we don't seek out a certain type of look."
By segregating girls who are not stick thin, the company's philosophy could have a negative affect on teenage girls. "There will always be the girls who will try to squeeze into it. They'll do whatever they can to fit in Brandy Melville," 17-year-old fashion blogger Justina Sharp said.
Brandy Melville joins other fashion brands that show no concern about this form of fat shaming. Brands like Abercrombie & Fitch have advertised their clothing worn by the "cool" kids, and received criticism for refusing to make clothing for larger sized girls. Active wear brand Lululemon has also admitted that plus-sized women are not their target consumers.
Excluding healthy and plus-sized teens from what is considered cool can cause them to develop "unhealthy weight control behaviors," according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. More than half of teenagers develop behaviors, such as starving themselves or binging and purging, to get the bodies that this brand thinks is the norm that "most" girls already have.