TODAY

TODAY   |  April 30, 2014

18-year-old launches bra line just for teens

Megan Grassell joins TODAY to talk about how the line of bras she started to help teens feel comfortable in their own skins. She was joined by Common Sense Media’s Caroline Knorr.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "love your selfie," teens and body image . in our survey, we found 85% of teen girls worry about their appearance frequently and regularly. but one teen from jackson hole , wyoming, is hoping to change that.

>> she's got a great story. she's 18-year-old megan grassle who went along with her younger sister mary margaret to buy her first bra and saw some pretty racy designs and words like padded and push-up, so she decided she was going to launch her own bra line to help young girls feel more comfortable. megan is here along with care line noor, the parenting editor at common sense media. good morning. caroline noor, the parenting editor at common sense media. good morning. i love your story, you have a typical reaction to what so many young girls are going through when your bodies change. you saw this with your sister. the options are sort of limited when it comes to finding bras and it made you feel a little uncomfortable for your sister, right?

>> uh-huh. so we went shopping, and we sort of went to so many different stores, and even the tween sections that are supposed to be for these 11 to 15-year-old girls were advertised as very pad up, push-up. i looked at my sister like you can't wear that. you don't look like that. so i was inspired to start something, you know, that wasn't there, to create a product that was needed.

>> so smart. we just went through this with my niece, who's going through her teen years. it was either sports bra , or something that looked really inappropriate for a young girl . so you have what you've named yellow bear. you've raised $42,000 in funding on kick starter. what do you hope that girls get out of wearing this style?

>> i mean, for me, the yellow bear bra, as much as i love them because i'm biased with them, but they represent more than just bra. it's kind of a social movement to sort of change a little bit, that it's not sexual, it's not screaming sex with padded push-up features.

>> feminine, but supportive and very youthful, which i love. i think more so what i love is your message. it's really about girls embracing the changes that are happening in their bodies. but we also know, caroline , in this day and age, 85% of girls are very worried about their appearance and a lot of that comes down to social media and the influence. unfortunately, teens themselves are putting a lot of those pictures out there.

>> that's exactly right. i mean, kids and teens are growing up in a world with constant access and exposure to age inappropriate, highly sexualized images on the internet. it's sort of like a hall of mirrors effect and they feel like the media is sort of saying this is how you should look. but i think that girls can reject that message and put a different one out there.

>> what can parents do, caroline ? obviously you want a girl to be able to express herself. you want to be a parent. you also want to be a little cool. but how do you balance that?

>> i think it's really important for parents to take this seriously, that these messages really do make an impact on kids, both boys and girls . they can watch their own messages and their own criticism of their bodies and they can also choose media with positive role models in it that reflects their values.

>> really quickly, megan , you can buy these online then?

>> uh-huh.

>> yellow berry?

>> yellowberry.com.

>> great. megan and caroline , thank you so much.

>> we're so proud of you, megan . what a great idea.