Friday, September 2nd, 2011
A T-shirt for girls sold by JC Penney caused an online uproar this week for its message suggesting that pretty girls don’t do homework.
Sold in sizes 7 to 16, the shirt said, “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” The description of the shirt read: “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.”
But many bloggers and others saw the shirt as anything but cute, decrying what they viewed as an unhealthy message for young girls.
“I have three bright, funny nieces who are 7, 5 and 5 and I never want them to believe the message on this shirt is true,” Jessica Wakeman wrote on TheFrisky.com. “Its sale price ($9.99 down from the original $16.99) seems to indicate that people may be too smart to buy into such girl-undermining messaging,” Jen Doll wrote on The Village Voice blog. Jenna Sauers on Jezebel.com said that the tee “explicitly associates intelligence with being a boy, and looking pretty with being a girl.” An online petition demanding that JC Penney stop selling the shirt quickly gathered more than a thousand signatures.
JCPenney reacted within hours of the first complaints Wednesday, removing the shirt from its website, and issuing a statement. From The Village Voice:
J.C. Penney is committed to being America’s destination for great style and great value for the whole family. We agree that the “Too pretty” t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale. Our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them. We would like to apologize to our customers and are taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise that they have come to expect.
Kate Coultas, spokeswoman for JC Penney, told The Voice:
“One of the reasons we’re so outraged is that this is not what we stand for. We’ve facilitated over $100 million [in donations] over the past 10 years to support after-school programs in local communities. That’s a key important message for us.”
What do you think of the T-shirt? Would you let your daughter wear it?
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