JCPenney Thinks Girls Are Stupid
When does irony go too far?
JCPenney was selling a girl's sweatshirt that read: "I am too pretty to do my homework. So my brother has to do it for me." It was on sale for $9.99, down from 16.99. The tag line reads: "Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Bieber album out? She'll love this Tee, just as cute and sassy as she is."
I think they thought they were being cute. But the outrage that followed wasn't cute. Twitter and the blogosphere ignited in disgust for all the usual reasons. JC Penney pulled the sweatshirt and sent out an apology that read:
JCPenney 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.
I have written on this topic countless times - big retail stores selling products that demean, sexualize and offend our girls. We all remember what happened when Barbie found math to be too difficult. And yet, designers, marketers and stores continue to produce the products.
Which, in the logic of retail, means that someone is buying it. And that is the scariest part of all. Because who in their right minds would think that is cute or funny or even ironic? When is the pairing of looks, stupidity and then a throw to boys being smarter ever funny?
Us moms have to do better and demand better for our girls. We have to be diligent when it comes to the messages that we allow for them to wear on their bodies - either subtle messages or obvious ones like this one.
Clothing should be fun, and allow for freedom of expression. But it can also be smart. I hope we can force the retailers to smarten up.
Want more chaos? Last year, I wondered if I was going to crush my daughter's spirit if I won at cards.