Is It Inappropriate For “Forever 21″ To Sell Maternity Clothes In States With High Teen Pregnancy?

Budget-conscious mommies-to-be are surely excited about Forever 21’s new line of maternity gear, love21maternity, which is available in Arizona, Alaska, California, Texas and Utah. Finally, cute pregnancy clothes that don’t look like a camping tent! But our friends at The Gloss noticed something of note: Arizona, California and Texas all have high teen pregnancy rates. A teen pregnancy counselor who spoke to CNN about the love21maternity line said that seeing maternity clothes in their stores will “desensitize” teen girls towards pregnancy. Sure, California and Texas have huge populations to begin with. But was the decision to sell maternity clothes in a store favored by teens, in places with lots of pregnant teens, a business-savvy decision? And isn’t that kind of — I dunno — icky? Forever 21 says no, no, no, it’s just a coincidence. Larry Meyer, an executive VP for the company, told CNN that over 80 percent of its customers are over age 18, which I assume is his way of saying they’re not trying to be a teen store. Meyer didn’t mention the specific ages of who is buying the maternity line, though. Also, how many love21maternity consumers are 19-, 20-, and 21-year-olds? They might not fall under the umbrella of “teen pregnancy,” but they’re still pretty young to be mamas!

One thing remains: if I were a mom-to-be (make that a skinny mom-to-be), I’d be happy for Forever 21’s trendy maternity lines. But if I was shopping maternity tops next to a 15-year-old girl in her eighth month, I’d probably freak.

[The Gloss]