It’s 2017, we’re all older and wiser. We need to stop shopping in Forever 21


babe  • 

It’s 2017, we’re all older and wiser. We need to stop shopping in Forever 21

Maybe I’d like to wear a leather jacket without ‘bad beotch’ written on the back ever think about that?

There are many turning points in the lives of young women. Your first period, for instance. Finally getting a bra that fits. The evolutionary glo up period where you realise despite societal conditioning other girls are not your enemy. Oh, and the turning point in every woman’s life when she realises she’s too good for Forever 21.

Look we’ve all been sucked in by the promise of F21. Oh cute jackets? Affordable little sweaters? These shoes are nice and I could definitely buy them in the middle of the month. Nice jeans. These pleasant, positive, low-cost vibes are how every trip to the store begins. You’re walking around in the blinding florescent lights and the music is louder than it has been in every club but you’re still thinking “this is fine, this is nice, affordable fashion, I can fuck with this”.

Pausing mid-aisle you spot a nice biker jacket and pull it from the rail. It’s got a good cut and your other one is ripped and – oh yes, of course, it has BADASS BEOTCH written on the back.

Because Forever 21 always fucks it up at the last minute by being the most extra brand to have ever existed. Coco Chanel famously, allegedly, once said: “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off”. Forever 21 adds 42 pieces. Normcore minimalism is admittedly basic nowadays, but I dunno, it’d be great if F21 sold anything I could wear without looking like a 14-year-old who runs a JohnXLock Tumblr.

And despite the fact that you, a mature, fashionable, stylish woman, knows this, you continue to get sucked in. You go back, don’t you, and casually pick up the cute denim jacket with J’ADORE LE ROCK N ROLL embroidered on the back. And for a second the atmosphere of the place warps your perception. “Yeah, I could be that kind of girl” you think momentarily. But then you go out into the sunlight of the real world and realise immediately that you are categorically not that kind of girl. I’ve been there.

Look, it’s not even just the weird, extra fashion decisions their buyers make. Forever 21 had quite a miserable year in 2016 – and that’s the real reason we should say goodbye to them from the dizzying heights of 2017. In November the Los Angeles Times reported that the company uses US sweatshops and pays employees just $4 an hour – less than half of the state minimum wage – to pay for their ‘SORRY NOT SORRY’ hoodies (and the rest of their clothes).  In March they were accused of promoting rape culture for selling a t-shirt in the men’s section which read “don’t say maybe when you want to say no”.

Then just a few months later they were forced to pull even more t-shirts, this time from their boys children’s range, which read “sorry ladies, I only date models”, “hola ladies” and “chicks are all over me”. At the time the company said:“Forever 21 takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. With regards to the T-shirts in question, after receiving feedback we have taken immediate action to have them removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the products.”

And if you don’t think that’s weird and uncomfortable, just look at the expression on the faces of the sad little boys being forced to model them.

Perhaps none of that though, was as bad as what they did to the choker trend. If anyone is responsible for how quickly it got out of hand surely it’s Forever 21, who decided to realise denim, fish net and literal neck brace versions into the world.

Obviously we’re fallible humans. We make mistakes, especially in our youth, and Forever 21 is one of those mistakes. But as with old boyfriends and any Facebook statuses where you referred to yourself in the third person back in 2009, there is only one way forward. Delete any evidence that you were ever stupid to allow them into your life, and move on.

Never look back.