Forever 21 Follows Penney in Dumb T-Shirt Category
At what point did it become cool for teenage girls to publicly celebrate their ignorance by advertising it on the shirts they wear? Then again, maybe it’s not the girls at all, but the clothing designers and retailers that sell these d-shirts (d as in dumb).
A piece on The Washington Post’s website reports on a shirt from Forever 21 that reads: “Allergic To Algebra.” A user on Reddit posted a picture of the shirt with a sticky note attached, reading: “Smart girls are cool. Don’t buy this top.”
This shirt along with another recently sold (and then taken off the market after complaints) by J.C. Penney with the message, “I’m too pretty to do my homework, so my brother has to do it for me,” are seen by some as a disturbingly sexist approach in fashion marketing for young girls.
According to ABC News, the “algebra” shirt is not the only one on the Forever 21 site that appears to promote dumbing down instead of higher learning. The retailer announced it was pulling the shirt from its site after complaints starting making their way around the internet.
“Our merchandise is intended to appeal to all audiences, not to offend them,” Linda Chang, a senior marketing manager for Forever 21, told ABCNews.com. “We would like to apologize to our customers as our intent was not to discredit education and we are taking the proper actions necessary.”
- Smart girls are cool. Don’t buy this top.
- Forever 21’s ‘Allergic to Algebra’ Shirt Draws Criticism – ABC News
- Forever 21 selling ‘Allergic To Algebra’ shirt – The Washington Post
- Protesters Boost “Boys Are Stupid” Sales – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: Are you concerned about the use of negative messages on t-shirts sold to teenagers? Why do you think retailers have not anticipated the pushback that has come with their sale?