Why Forever 21 Gives Me Anxiety | Tarreyn Land: Why Forever 21 Gives Me Anxiety

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why Forever 21 Gives Me Anxiety

I've recently become aware that every time I go into Forever 21 I literally have a panic attack...
           As I walk in and am surrounded by the incredibly loud sugar-coated techno, I start to hyperventilate. My head starts spinning as my eyes span across the giant white walls covered in every print imaginable. ENDLESS racks of polka-dots and acid wash denim attack my senses, and I'm blinded by the overwhelming amount of options. There are more pieces of clothing in one 2-story Forever 21 than there are in entire impoverished third-world countries. 
I'm all for choices, but this is seriously out of control... 
Kind of like my anxiety...
           As I stand in the store trying to regain composure without resorting to breathing into a paper bag, my life rapidly turns into a Molly Ringwald movie - knocking shoes off the shelves, dropping sparkly purses, bumping into emaciated mannequins... Thank goodness I didn't have this store when I actually was 16 - It would have been just another place for me to feel even geekier. 
           Once I recover a small amount of calm, I begin to sift through the racks. That leads to another level of confusion entirely...The sizing is clearly for infants (Do we need to have a conversation about Crop Tops?), polyester hasn't been this popular since the 70s, and seriously, WHO can safely walk in heels that high?
           I am desperately curious whose job it is to design their graphic tees. Apparently, if you just put some kind of exclamatory word on a t-shirt, it makes it cool. Boys! Party! Love! Paris! 
Along those lines, if you screen any random cartoon or 90's band, it also equals cool... I truly want to know who's buying the Garfield or Salt n' Peppa shirts...
           The sales girls are the perfect combination of intimidating and useless. With their top knots and neon polished nails, to try and find something specific in the store takes 15 minutes of aimlessly following their daisy duke clad geisha walks with no guarantee of finding what you're looking for.
           Sure, they have jeans for $16 (what the WHAAA?!), and entire rooms devoted to colors like blush and sea foam (swoon), and I can't deny the rush I get from buying fun jewelry for 3 dollars, but I'm starting to wonder how much it balances out the rest of the experience. 
           As I get bumped into over and over again by endless streaming squads of identical oblivious 15 year-old girls frantically texting, I stand there not only anxious, but slightly depressed about the future. 
           Women are making so many strides in so many places, but as I stand in the fitting room overhearing beautiful size 4 teenage girls call themselves 'fat' and 'ugly', I begin to hate companies like Forever 21 for cultivating an environment of weight-shaming consumerism. 
           do need to give them mad props for adding a plus-size line - way to go gang - but that's such a small percentage of what they do, I don't feel it can compensate for the basic mentality that they promote. 
           And Don't Even get me started on the fact that they're a super conservative religious-powered machine who quotes the Bible on every store bag but then proceeds to send adolescent girls out in the world wearing basically underwear. 
           In spite of all this, I don't want you to get me wrong - I love me some fast-food-fashion, and Forever 21 is my supplier. It's the perfect place to go for a 20 dollar dress when you're in a bind, and I can't resist all the fun little hair-clippys. But every time I go in there, which is not very frequently, I wonder more and more what I'm doing there...
           Then I look down at my sweet new colored jeans that cost less than a New York martini, and I remember... 
           Maybe next time I just need to pop a Xanax and enjoy the poorly tailored, super cute, disposable fashion ride...


  1. Nice post, Tarreyn - but wait until the fashion magazines start becoming irrelevant... it's a whole other world!! In the meantime, you've got the right attitude - enjoy the ride! XO - M

    1. Thanks Marilyn! The fashion world is a tricky thing! :) Thanks so much for the feedback! <3