Walking past my husband’s computer screen last night, which showed a page from CNN.com, I literally did a double take. There was a photo of an in-store display at Forever 21 and an article announcing the chain’s introduction of a maternity line of “sophisticated styles for moms-to-be”. Huh?? For those of you not familiar with Forever 21 (also known as XXI), it is a chain of stores (usually found in malls) that attracts legions of teen girls for its low-priced yet stylish clothing and accessories. The new maternity line, called “Love 21”, is debuting in five states, three of which have high teen pregnancy rates (which of course, with its abstinence-only sex ed programs, includes Texas). So it’s easy to conclude that the folks at Forever 21 are marketing to pregnant teens (or those just thinking about it). Some may say it’s a brilliant move in these tough economic times toward a previously untapped “niche” market, but I say it’s…well…downright creepy. Do we really need one of the leading teen clothiers making pregnancy look hip? It’s bad enough we’ve had smiling teen celebrities in the spotlight showing off their babies, like Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin. What’s next? Special magazines? (“Seventeen and Pregnant”? “Mama Tiger Beat”?) A school backpack that doubles as a diaper bag? An Iphone app called Teen Pregnancy Journal?
Forever 21 Executive VP Larry Meyer told CNN it’s just a coincidence that the line is being introduced in those states. He says the majority of Forever 21’s customers are over 18. Yeah, Larry, guess you can skate by with that remark, since no doubt the majority of those who fork over their credit cards to your cashiers are MOMS long past the age of 18 who are buying the clothes picked out by their teen daughters. What kind of fools do you take us for, Larry? And that in-store display showing a poster of a pregnant female looking lovingly at her peach-colored-cotton-clad belly—are you going to tell us it’s just a coincidence that she looks like she’s still in high school? (read on at http://uncoolmom.com/2010/07/20/forever-21-and-its-maternity-clothes-qu… )
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