A girls' T-shirt with the statement I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me has been pulled from the Web site of its sellers, J.C. Penney, after it sparked controversy among parents.
The long-sleeved T-shirt meant for 7-16 year olds and priced at $9.99 had marketing copy on the Web site which said, 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.
The controversy erupted late Tuesday night when clothing designer Melissa Wardy wrote on Facebook, Dear JC Penny, Vapid isn't a subject in school. Your shirt? SUCKS. At least a girl can get the sale price on selling herself short.
Change.org put up a notice with the message, Stop selling clothing with sexist messages for girls, soon after the T-shirt went up for sale.
According to ABC News, more than 1,600 people signed a petition addressed to JC Penney chairman and CEO Mike Ulman III. Under the guise of being 'cute,' J.C. Penney is promoting merchandise that encourages girls to value looks over brains; to leave academics to the boys, and to aspire to nothing more than fawning after Justin Bieber, it read.
Some months back, David & Goliath T-shirts with, I'm too pretty to do math and Future Trophy Wife written on it, had also stirred up controversy among parents.
Thanks, major clothing retailers. We struggle to teach our girls that beauty isn't everything, that they don't have to play dumb in order to be popular, that women can be both smart and pretty, Lylah Alphonse, a blogger, says. But, even though studies show that girls are as good at math as boys, even with beautiful movie stars earning Ivy League degrees in between blockbuster hits, the stereotypes persist-thanks in large part to messages like the one on that cute and sassy t-shirt marketed to girls age 7 to 16.
J.C. Penney has issued a statement of apology which says, 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.