Opinion: Hey Parents, Teen Pregnancy is Not the Fault of Forever 21
I cannot believe we are actually having a discussion over whether or not Forever 21 is targeting its new maternity line at states with the highest teen pregnancy rates.
Of course they are!
Has our nation become so narrow-minded that we believe this maternity line, no matter how cool it may look or how targeted it may be, will influence teens to get pregnant?
Forever 21 is specifically marketing this maternity clothing to where it will sell well. This is just a natural progression of the supply-and-demand model in business. Any first-year business student understands this. Heck, even my 12-year-old nephew understands this.
We've become a nation of finger-pointers. Who are we going to eviscerate next? Wal-Mart? JC Penney? Target? Or any other clothing store just because it happens to have its maternity clothing lines in those states as well?
Here's a little jewel of truth. Forever 21 did not make the teens get pregnant nor could they influence such a thing. They are just doing business as usual.
Perhaps we should point our disgust, our disdain, our self righteousness in the right direction. The mirror. These kids are having babies because parents are not watching or are oblivious to what is happening. It's the grown-ups who've abdicated their roles as role models, and way too many have stopped trying. More and more, parents are placing the blame somewhere else. We coddle our kids and protect them from everything except from themselves. When it comes to these uncomfortable topics and tough decisions, the line must be drawn between being a parent and being a friend. We are failing miserably when we pick the role of a friend.
So the next time we decide to expound our utter disgust for a business doing what it does naturally -- make money --we should really take a look at ourselves and see if we have somehow dropped the ball. After all, it's just clothing we are talking about here. The more important fabric is the one between a parent and child.
Related: Forever 21 Launches Maternity Line
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.