It was the shirt that launched 1,000 (probably more) angry tweets:
No, this isn’t some joke shirt sold by Spencer’s or a Jersey Shore t-shirt stand. This was part of JC Penney’s back-to-school collection. You know school, that place where girls apparently go just to be noticed by boys and flirt and text their way through the day. Heaven forbid they’re actually doing any learning there.
It’s funny that this issue came just one day after I was pledging my love for Pigtail Pals. Melissa, the site’s author, was one of the first to ring the alarm about this shirt. And as she so eloquently put in her post about this disgusting t-shirt today: “My daughter will not be sent to school with the message from her parents that she is inadequate. She will not be taught hat she is incapable of learning, and mastering, what is taught to her at school.”
Sadly, flirty, beauty-focused products designed for children are nothing new. Walk through Babies R Us or Target, and you will find tons of onesies, bibs and shirts that say things like “I’m Cute” or “Queen of Cute” or other such babble. Yes, babies ARE cute. I’m not trying to say they’re not. But must everything be so focused on appearances?
The part of the t-shirt that really fires me up is the end: “So my brother has to do it for me.” Are you freaking kidding me? Poor girls. All of that math is so hard (which, to be honest, math IS hard for me, but that doesn’t mean I stopped trying to master it in school) that we couldn’t possibly be expected to be pretty and smart.
JC Penney quickly pulled the shirts after the Twittersphere exploded this morning. They even released this statement:
“We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns regarding this shirt. Because of the feedback from loyal fans such as yourself, we have shared this with our buyers who will be pulling this shirt from our inventory.”
Too little, too late for me. I want to know who the morons are who designed the shirt, greenlit it, manufactured it, and then wrote the injury on top of insult copy that accompanied the shirt: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.”
It’s a bad week for girls in America. I’m still not over the disgust I felt when I saw this picture in a HILARIOUS VMAs recap yesterday:
These tweens came out on stage during the Britney Spears tribute. I can’t believe their parents let their pre-teens strike slutty poses in the schoolgirl, red-leather unitards and Toxic video outfits. Are you freaking kidding me? I never knew Madonna could look so innocent. All we wore in the ’80s were her rubber bracelets and perhaps a sweatshirt with a SMALL slit up the side and a cut out neckline.
You’re pushing me America. You’re turning me into a prude and I don’t like it one little bit.
Thankfully I’m not alone in this fight. It warmed my aching heart to see all the outrage on Twitter and Facebook — from moms and dads alike. My Twitter friend @ErickaWoode, a radio DJ in Birmingham, Alabama, quickly saw my tweets and posted a blog about it. Hi back Ericka! And she’ll be discussing it on her show today.
I don’t mean to overstate this, but we parents have GOT to stay vigilant. I heard from another Facebook friend that this shirt is also being sold at Kohl’s. You know it’s a sad day when you apparently have to seek out the Khardashian line at Sears. Say what you will, but at least those girls are smart, hard workers … even if they are famous for sex tapes and marrying athletes.
What’s the worst item targeted at children you’ve ever seen? Do you think I’m a prude?
PRUDE? Hells no.
This misfit thinks you ROCK.
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says
I didn’t even realize those girls dancing for the Britney tribute were that young! With the way they were dancing, I thought they were all at least older teenagers. I obviously need a larger TV screen because I can’t see crap!
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep says
And another thing! One of my good friends has her daughter in a cheerleading team, and she’s all but 5 or 6. This little girl wears more eye make-up for these cheer competitions than I’ve ever seen on Britney’s face. It’s disgusting. Why can’t they just cheer without the eye make-up and the fake hair?
I don’t know for a fact that they’re tweens but by the looks of some of them on that picture, I’d say most of them are under 16. I will admit though that I’m only basing it on the picture. I have not watched a video of the performance.
Vinobaby (aka Kerry Ann) says
I didn’t know the girls were that young either. But I was watching with a tinge of disgust anyway–that whole show stunk. I am afraid for the future of music, but that’s another story.
That shirt is gross, but I know so many people who would think it is adorable and proudly dress their little princesses in it. Yack. But they also see nothing wrong with dressing 1st graders in short shorts and skin tight leggings (without a longer shirt). Wonder where they will be in 10 years?
I am SO glad I have a boy.
So my curiosity got the best of me and I googled the dancers and found an article about an 11-year-old girl who was picked to participate. I feel bad, in a way, since I’m sure this felt like the opportunity of a lifetime to her and her parents.
But you’re right — given what most elementary school kids wear on a daily basis anyway, I’m sure the Britney costumes weren’t much of a stretch. I’m scared for the next 15 years. Very scared.
Cynthia (It All Changes) says
I hate those shirts. There are so many that focus on boys and cute and all sorts of dumbing down girls. Girls rock and are smart. Shirts should reflect how awesome they are.
Megan @ On the Road Again says
Thanks for this post. I’d heard rumblings about the shirt, but missed the Twittercraze, and thus missed most of the story.
I wholeheartedly agree with every word in your post. As the momma of a daughter due in January, I’m shocked to see how far marketers will go when it comes to females in this country. I’m so tired of the Lindsay Lohan-ness that is seemingly striking girls at a younger and younger age these days. And the VMA incident only proves that point – that it’s ok, and even “cool” for young girls to be clad in skimpy skirts and barely-there-button up shirts.
Another example of all of this? The push-up bikini that was being sold at Abercrombie Kids. Seriously? I just started needing a push-up, and I’m 27.
But then again, what do I know? I’m just a woman. Perhaps my brother has something smarter to say on all of this. Ha.