My 13yo daughter A- has a new obsession: the national clothing chain Aeropostale. Their clothes are cute enough, but why people are willing to shop at a store where 90% of the merchandise are billboards for the brand is a bit beyond me. Shows how deeply brand identification is part of modern culture, I suppose.
Still, there we were looking for some shorts and I noticed the labels for their jeans:
Can you see that? “Skinny”, “Destructed Skinny” and “Ultra Skinny”. What?!?
My daughter assured me that it wasn’t the size but rather the style, that “skinny jeans” were those that clung tightly to the girls legs and made them look, well, skinny.
As a parent to two girls, I am very concerned about societal messages about girls, their self-worth and how slim they are, and I found the Aeropostale choice of style labels quite alarming.
Think about it: you’re a regular, average girl and you go into this shop to buy some clothes. You want to feel good about yourself – don’t we all? – and are confronted with skinny jeans. Are you skinny? Are you skinny enough? What about that weight issue that you’re sure you have, even though everyone else says you look lovely?
Instead, why not use “snug” or “tight” or “cling” or some other synonym that conveys the idea of this “skinny jeans” style, but one that doesn’t bring up the whole body weight issue?
Am I out of line here, gang, or do you think it’s time for stores like Aeropostale to think about its customers and their state of mind, not just its sales and sell-through per store?