I love a good cause to rant about, no doubt. Give me a restaurant that bans kids or a group that wants to ban fat kids from participating, and I'll pull out my soapbox quicker than anyone. When it comes to t-shirts for kids with less than virtuous messages, however ... meh.
The latest ones to rile up parents come from The Children's Place. The t-shirts for girls sport messages like, "Born to Wear Diamonds" and the most controversial one which read, "My Best Subjects" with boxes checked underneath for shopping, music, and dance, while the one for math is left conspicuously blank. Under that it reads, "Well, nobody's perfect."
Customers were outraged and took to the company's Facebook page to slay them with cries of sexism and purporting archaic messages to our girls.
For example, user Rebecca Kenton wrote, "NOT cute, Children's Place. This is not 1953. Stop making it fashionable for girls to be dumb. Parents are sick of this garbage."
Point taken, and I would never buy one for my daughter. Mainly because I don't think it's cute at all, and it's not even clever. But does it outrage me? Not really.
I understand where people are coming from, and I believe more needs to be done to encourage girls in the fields of math and science, but it's a t-shirt. It's supposed to be funny. With all of the awful messages out there in the world for our girls, this is the least of our worries.
I suppose you can argue that it all adds up, but if you give that much power to a t-shirt, then that's sad. We as parents are the ones who have to set the example; we are the parents who can show our daughters those t-shirts and tell them why we don't like them. If we're that worried that a t-shirt can damage their self esteem when it comes to math, then we're doing something wrong.
Also, the fact is that some girls don't like math, and music and dancing are nothing to sneeze at. If they said "girls suck at math" that would be one thing, but as they are they're just tacky at most. If a boy wore one like this with the saying, "Down with homework!" no one would say it's because the company is saying boys aren't good at homework.
After all of the hoopla, The Children's Place did pull the shirts and apologize. But if parents think they won anything that matters by getting the store to do so then they're sorely mistaken.
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Do you think these t-shirts are outrageous? Would you let your kid wear one?
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