Forever 21 newest clothing line “Love 21 Maternity” promises to provide mothers-to-be with cool, sophisticated clothes at affordable prices in five states including Texas. And all of those states–Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah and Texas–happen to have some of the country’s highest teen pregnancy rates. Not that the company was in any way trying to target an untapped market of pregnant teens who just want to look cool in their third trimester. After all, “the chain specializes in offering the latest looks for teens and 20-somethings” but said executive vice president Larry Meyer in a statement, “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 Texas stores are located along the border in El Paso, Harlingen and Laredo (sorry, Dallas, no maternity line at North Park and Galleria and Valley View just yet). For a Christian-based company that’s known for printing the verse John 3:16 on the bottom of its bags, perhaps there’s another message being sent, “OK, so you got pregnant and that was a mistake, but at least you’re keeping the baby. We might as well dress you to look good and save some money so you can buy diapers and formula and other baby stuff,” The Gloss says. I don’t know about all that but it certainly glosses over teen pregnancy as nothing more than a reason to wear cute clothes. And, yes, non 21-year-olds do shop there, including me occassionally, but I just can’t imagine what the dressing room conversation is going to be like, “Oh my gosh! Melissa you loook soo cute!” ” Really, this dress makes my bump look fabulous. Do you think it’ll be bigger by prom?” Sadly, Forever 21 is doing nothing more than good marketing to a ‘growing’ audience.