Moms, Just Say 'No' to Tacky T-Shirts That Glorify Drinking

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Urban OutfittersWhen your consumer base comprises easily influenced teenagers all vying to be cool, you’re obligated to watch what you say, what you do, and what you sell. Free speech and capitalistic entitlement be darned—you are obligated to do the right thing. So shame on Urban Outfitters for stocking T-shirts with slogans glorifying substance use like "I Vote For Vodka" and, of course, the ubiquitous marijuana leaf, and in so doing, distributing instances of wearable obnoxiousness.

If a recent survey can be trusted, 86 percent of high school students say they have classmates who use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs during the school day. Not at home in the evenings. Not on the weekends. During the doggone school day. (Interestingly enough, 86 percent of kids know someone who does it but that basically means most of them are pointing fingers at each other, since no one wants to admit that they’re actually the ones doing the boozing, snorting, and smoking.) That says the problem is not only out of control, but boundaries are evaporating and the spirit of invincibility is on the rise. Anything is going, and doing dirt during the school day is proof positive.  

No one in their right mind should feel comfortable trying to sneak off to drink or get high when they’re under the watchful eye of educators and school administrators, nor should they feel like it’s cool to ditch school altogether to do it. That is a scary brand of boldness. And it need not be hyped up or encouraged—or made into bawdy, tasteless T-shirts—by designers capitalizing on high school and college kids’ desire to advertise their penchant for drinking. (Or give the ones trying to fit in by saying they do any more fuel for their phony fire.)

I’m already weary of videos and reality shows that perpetuate this fun, free-wheelin’ picture of the alcohol and drug user’s experience and this hyperactive fascination with sloppy, drunken tommyrot—particularly when substance use is directly tied to all kinds of irresponsibility from drunk driving to heightened rates of unprotected sex. It’s just stupid and tacky to emblazon T-shirts with cheers for downing alcohol and then sell them in a store that panders to kids. It may not cause a statistical increase, but it’s irresponsible merchandising.

Boo to those shirts, Urban Outfitters, and boo to you for stocking them. Do better. (And stop charging so much, while you’re at it. Your clothes are getting more vintage and your prices are getting more futuristic. Pick one.)

Do you think retailers should be conscientious about the clothing they sell or are they just charged with selling the stuff period?


Image via Urban Outfitters

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tauru... taurusmom88

while i agree that these shirts are inappropriate, and i would never allow my kid to walk around wearing that crap, some parents don't care. sure it isn't right, but thats their kids that they gotta deal with. companies don't really give a crap about youur kids, or what they wear well most corporations don't at least. they care about making money, and that is it. it isn't really up to people like that (corporations, celeberties, etc..) to put a good examples for kids, it is up to parents to be open and talk to kids about drugs, sex, drinking, and all that crap from a young age. but i really do agree with you that those shirts and clothing things really are terrible. but then again, when i was a teenager, i saw it differently.

Sharyna AngelDreamer

It's just a stupid t shirt. Don't we need to worry about other things besides a t shirt?

CanCa... CanCan123

COME ON Spencers has all sorts of shirts like that, those shoirts and bumper stickers and key chains have all been around forever.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Only 86% of HS students have classmates who smoke during the school day? I don't believe that for a second. On my first day of high school I must have seen a few dozen smokers from people lighting up before the bus arrived to girls smoking in the bathroom to people smoking round the back of the school. I doubt 14% of HS students are oblivious enough to not notice their peers lighting up.

Desti... Destiny907

Trashy people will always be trashy.

Kate Cooley

I've long complained about stuff like this. Stop trash-ifying the kids already.

small... smalltownmom07

In the end, isn't it the parents responsibility to say, "No, you can't buy that"? Isn't it our responsibility, as parents, to talk with our kids about drugs, alcohol, and smoking?

Meg Moore

so then dont buy it.

jessi... jessicasmom1

no I have seen them just I don't wish to buy them

nonmember avatar biskitty

See, the thing about Urban Outfitters though is that they don't care about setting a good message for your kids. They don't care about your teenage daughter. Urban's customer base actually is 18-30 year olds with the majority of customers being 21 up. "I vote for vodka" sells to twenty something college students, who do love vodka. (You remember college, don't deny that :P) Edgy, callous and non-pollitically correct is how they roll. In reality parents should be paying closer attention to the kinds of store their teens are shopping in. Urban also sells flasks and bras with hidden beer storage, does that seem like a high school aged store to you? Lazy parenting is expecting all stores to promote your values.

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