The blogosphere was abuzz last week regarding the below graphic t-shirt. The buzz got so oppressively negative that J.C. Penny pulled the shirt off its site on August 31st.
This modern mother has a few thoughts about this silliness. Obviously, it is an inane shirt and not at all well mannered. It is sexist, feeding into the stereotype that men are better at math and science than women, and suggests to young women that beauty emancipates one from hard work and intellect.
One envisions a group of 1950's marketing executives in brown suits smoking like chimneys having somehow traveled through time to design graphic t-shirts for mass market retailers. So what if more women graduate from college, law school and medical school than men these days? It must be because they are hot, hoochie mamas.
Yet, at least this message is direct. The consumer is presented with a clear choice "Do you want your daughter walking around in this slogan or not?" Often the message is not so obvious. A recent toggle over to Abercrombie Kids (where size small would fit an average 7 or 8 year-old) shows us clothing that does not spell out that a sexy body is better than brains but these tops and sweat pants leave little doubt as to which assets a young girl should leverage to get ahead in 4th grade. Oh, and by the way, have you seen MTV?
So, hooray, well done irate bloggers. There is one less silly t-shirt available to the discount public. Now please go forth and get the rest of the media and retail on board.