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As Forever 21 Files For Bankruptcy, Some People Believe The Company Got What They Deserved

On Sunday, millennial fast-fashion giant Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, causing a stir among shoppers who have long relied on the store for cheap and fashionable clothing. The move comes at a time when brick-and-mortar retail businesses everywhere are struggling and the bankruptcy is just proof of the shifting ways people shop.

Forever 21 was founded in 1984 in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and quickly became the go-to spot young women went to for trendy items at affordable prices. Forever 21 spearheaded the wave of giant “fast fashion” retailers like Zara and H&M. These retailers revolutionized the fashion industry by making apparel that was previously only available to fashion insiders available to middle-class women. The shop was a staple at virtually every suburban mall. 

But with the ubiquity of the internet, young customers no longer went to the mall for a dose of retail therapy–they went online. 

According to Forever 21, the chain will likely be closing 178 stores in the near future and will exit completely from Asian and European markets. Countless articles have been written about the rise of fashion-forward online retailers like ASOS and Fashion Nova and the subsequent decline of brick-and-mortar stores like Forever 21. It’s also worth mentioning that e-commerce giant Amazon has now entered the fray as a viable place for young women to buy clothes online. In other words, the competition is fierce. Forever 21 isn’t the only fast-fashion store that has faced problems in recent years: in 2015, popular retailer Deb shut its doors permanently, followed by Wet Seal in 2017.

While the popular retail chain is beloved by many young women on a budget, not everyone is mourning the loss of these locations. 

Along with the Forever 21’s immense popularity and success has come waves of criticism–much of which has come to a head in recent years. The rise of social media has given a voice and a platform to previously voiceless critics who viewed Forever 21 as a major problem. In recent years, Forever 21 has fought off scandals involving unethical labor practices, problematic and offensive designs, and recently, an incident involving the company giving diet bar samples to plus-size customers. 

Not to mention, Forever 21 part of the major environmental problems that clothing retailers are creating for the planet. Some studies indicate that the apparel industry accounts for over 8% of the “global climate impact” of carbon emissions. That is “greater than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined”. For many people, Forever 21 was emblematic of face-less soul-less corporations that manipulate unknowing customers for cash and wreak havoc on the ecosystem while they’re doing it. For some people, Forever 21’s bankruptcy feels like just desserts.

Along with other early 2000s-era fashion giants (like Victoria’s Secret), it’s been hard for Forever 21 to keep with the times. 

Many people believe that Forever 21 will have to completely overhaul their approach to marketing if they want to retain old customers while building a new client base. As the tides change, millennial and Gen-Z consumers are no longer want to give money to ethically dubious and environmentally irresponsible organizations. These days, young people prefer the companies they frequent to promote messages they believe in, like sustainability, body-positivity, and inclusivity. In an era when wokeness is a social currency, companies that promote a social agenda–like Third Love and Madewell–have become popular.

As for consumers’ reactions to Forever 21 filing for bankruptcy, Twitter provides a peek into everyone’s thoughts on the matter.

As is expected, the reactions run the spectrum to sadness at their favorite store being closed, to elation at the shuttering of a controversial retailer. With any polarizing landmark in pop culture comes a lot of people ready to voice their opinions.

This woman was sad that her go-to store for cheap staples is going out of business:

Forever 21 practically invented the term “ballin’ on a budget”. Now, it’s going to be harder for lower-income women to dress themselves fashionably in the same manner as before. 

This Twitter user made a decent point about Forever 21’s hit-or-miss clothes:

We’ve all been browsing the racks of Forever 21 and thought to ourselves: who greenlit this design?

This plus-sized Twitter user has mixed feelings about Forever 21’s bankruptcy filing:

It’s true that (for good or bad) Forever 21 has been at the forefront of industry changes–like paying more attention to plus-sized customers, for one. Even if they’ve had some very public missteps. 

15 Fashion And Beauty Trends That Should Stay In The 2010s

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15 Fashion And Beauty Trends That Should Stay In The 2010s

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2019 is coming to a close, and you know what that means—we’re about to begin a whole new decade. Each decade has its ups and downs, its memorably bright moments and its tragically bad trends. The last ten years brought us some crazes that really, truly slayed…but there are so many fashion and beauty trends that we hope will NOT return in the 2020s.

Spray Tan

Credit: Pinterest

The Guardian reported that the spray tan was the fastest growing area of cosmetics in 2010. Let’s just hope. Thankfully, that statistic didn’t hold up throughout the 2010s. Let’s hope it stays that way through the 2020s.

Wedge Sneakers

Credit: Pinterest

Okay, sometimes these can be pretty fly, if paired with the right outfit. And lots of celebs loved them—from Beyonce to Alicia Keys to Nicki Minaj, they were everywhere in the early-to-mid aughts. But they’re not the most functional, if you think about the fact that they’re a sneaker, and a lot of ladies complained that they (ironically) made their legs look shorter. They’re still around, though, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them carry over into the next decade.

Couture Athleisure

Credit: Pinterest

On a similar note…athleisure?! Athleisure is just glorified sweatpants. There, I said it. But much like its weird cousin, the Wedge Sneaker, it’s likely to grossly overstay its welcome.

Cold Shoulder Cut-Out Tops

Credit: Pinterest

This is just a matter of logic, people. When you wear long sleeves, it’s probably kind of cold out, right? Why would you expose your innocent shoulders to the elements? It makes no sense. Put a real shirt on.

Glitter Roots

Credit: Pinterest

Glitter is one of those polemic things that people either love or really, really hate. Even if you fall into the former, it’s safe to say that no one is trying to keep this trend alive…glitter is hard enough to clean up, so who wants that stuff embedded in their hair? It may look cute and whimsical, but no thanks.

Heavy Contouring

Credit: Makeupandbeauty.com

Oh, the magic of contouring. No one can deny its wildly transformative powers. But in reality, contouring is something that works best when you’re in front of the camera—it’s not really for everyday life. Not only can it add unnecessary time to your morning routine, it can often have a masklike effect if not done well, and we ain’t got nothing to hide in 2020!

Single Earring

Credit: Refinery29

The single earring trend took hold in 2017 (though it started back in the 80s), and honestly—it’s tough to say whether it should stay or go. Asymmetry can be edgy and fierce, for sure, but leaving one ear completely empty? That sounds like something only Prince could pull off. Maybe it deserves a pass IF the wearer can really rock it.

Heel-less Heels

Credit: Daily Mail

Heel-less heels are often used for cosplay, which makes sense—they’re cartoonish enough to work well for a costume. And if you’re dressing up as a person whose ankles may break at any moment, they are absolutely perfect!

Bubble Nails

Credit: Pinterest

Bubble nails—or “hump” nails—are essentially fingernails in 3D. The sculpted acrylic takes on the appearance of (you guessed it!) a bubble, and even though it first came on the scene in 2009 and got pretty popular in 2015, 2020 just may not be ready for this jelly.

Clear Plastic Boots

Credit: Pinterest

Speaking of jelly, the recent clear plastic boots trend hearkens back to the jelly sandals of the 90s. There’s definitely something nostalgic about this current iteration, but boots have a tendency to make feet hot and, well, damp. Not sure how much we want to show off our sweaty feet in the years to come.

Negative Space Eyeliner

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

We all know the satisfaction of a perfect wing, but this negative space trend would be way too hard to master. Imagine all the time it would take to perfect that little triangle—and unlike a classic winged tip, it’s unlikely to flatter most eye shapes. Thank you, next.

Flared Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV8y_WthU__/?utm_source=ig_embed

Flared nails first emerged in the early aughts, but they regained traction in 2017. Why, though?

Real Fur

Credit: Imgur

Animal activists argue that clothing made from real fur is unethical, as it unnecessarily puts animals in harm’s way and are likely to be mistreated at every level of fur and leather production. With this in mind, fur alternatives are a much better trend to pursue in 2020 and beyond—

Fake Fur

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3o1ekZgT9a/

—Or are they? The truth is, faux furs pose a major threat to the environment, as the methods and materials used to produce it are teeming with petrochemical poisons. Up-and-coming “bioleathers,” made from biodegradable and lab-grown compounds, are likely to be the best alternative that the upcoming decade will have to offer.

Man Buns

Credit: Pinterest

You either love them or you hate them. Either way, it might be okay for them to stay fossilized in the 2010s, at least for a while.

Slick Woods’ Stage 3 Melanoma Diagnosis Has Sparked a Conversation About Skin Cancer Among Communities of Color

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Slick Woods’ Stage 3 Melanoma Diagnosis Has Sparked a Conversation About Skin Cancer Among Communities of Color

slickwoods / Instagram

Fans of fashion model Slick Woods are in shock after the edgy alternative model took to Instagram last Wednesday to announce that she was going through chemotherapy. On November 20th, The Shade Room then exclusively announced that Woods was currently battling Stage 3 Melanoma and was “fighting for her life”. “At this time, we continue to pray for Slick’s health and that she’ll beat this disease,” The Shade Room said. “Her good spirit and will to fight is a testament to her strength and she’s certainly not alone in this fight given the outpouring of love and support from friends and fans all over the world”.

Woods’ initial hint towards her health troubles came from a photo she posted on Instagram last Wednesday. The photo was of herself, decked in a neon green ensemble, surrounded by friends and throwing her head back with her tongue sticking out. She captioned the photo: “How I feel about chemotherapy, shout out to everyone that gotta go through it #atleastimalreadybald”. 

The cancer diagnosis of the model, famous for being one of the faces of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line, has rocked the fashion world.

Friends and fans have flocked to Woods’ social media accounts to express their shock, grief, and support to Woods. No one expected a seemingly healthy woman of only 23-years-old to be faced with such a challenging health battle. On Woods’ photo, fans commented with supportive statements like “You got this Queen #wearesurvivors. You have my support” and “u got this. sending prayers & love ur way”.

The diagnosis is one in a long list of challenges that Slick Woods has had to face in her life. In the past, Woods has been upfront about her difficult past. Originally raised by a single mother, and then by her grandmother after her mother was incarcerated, Woods didn’t have a permanent home during her childhood. “I had a job, I had to do things I didn’t want to do, I saw a lot of s*** I shouldn’t have seen,” she told Evening Standard magazine. Once she was on her own, Woods revealed that she battled opiod addiction while living in a “traphouse”. She scraped together cash by running credit card scams. 

Woods’ diagnosis has sparked a conversation around the common misconception that people of African descent are somehow immune to skin cancer.

While statistics for skin cancer among people of African decent are lower with black people in the United States only making up 1-2% of skin cancer cases in comparison to white Americans who make up 35–45% of skin cancer cases, the truth is, anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of race. In fact, the survival rate of melanoma for people of color is lower, due to the fact that there is lower public awareness in communities of color and it shows up in less-likely places (like the soles of your feet).  “Melanin does confer some natural protection against the risk of skin cancers from UV, but everyone, of any complexion, is still at risk for sun-related skin cancers,” says dermatologist Dr. Andrew Alexis, the director of the Skin of Color Center in New York City. “There’s also just an overall lack of awareness that these cancers actually do occur in patients of color”.

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That body hurt huh #ugglife

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Slick Woods’ diagnosis and battle is a reminder to everyone why regular skin cancer screenings are so important. As for Woods, we respect her request to not be treated like a victim by her fans or the media during this time. Instead, we commend Woods for her bravery and honesty about a situation that is so personal to her. Her courage and forthrightness is inspirational.  

On Twitter, fans of Slick Woods have taken to the social media platform to process her shocking revelation. 

It’s natural that Woods’ diagnosis would spark such a large reaction on social media–the place where she largely rose to prominence.

This fan was effusive in her praise of Slick Woods as the paradigm of female power.

Woods’ battle with cancer is simply another reasons to recognize her as the icon that she is. 

This woman used Woods’ diagnosis as an opportunity to educate the public on the omnipresence of skin cancer.

Contrary to popular belief, skin cancer does not discriminate–everyone has the potential to be at risk, regardless of ethnicity.

This person is still processing the injustice of Woods’ diagnosis as a new mother.

It seems like just yesterday when Woods was sashaying down the catwalk with a full baby bump. Life is unpredictable.

This woman had nothing but good vibes and positive thoughts for the game-changing model.

The optimistic outlook is exactly the outlook that Woods is exemplifying on her own social media platforms.