Sexy girls = Good. Dumb girls = Bad?

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Sexy girls = Good. Dumb girls = Bad?

Epic T-shirt fail: "I'm too pretty to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me"

by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Manage Your Life, 18 hours ago
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This T-shirt, marketed to girls, was pulled from J.C. Penney's website after customers complained.
A few months ago, the Internet was up in arms over a white David & Goliath T-Shirt that read, in pink bubble letters, "I'm too pretty to do math." Then there was the one with "Future Trophy Wife" written on it.

But many parents think this one is worse.

The long-sleeve T-shirt that J.C. Penney pulled off its website today amid plenty of parental outrage read: "I'm too pretty to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me." And, judging by the description of the shirt on the J.C. Penney website—"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"—it seems like the company didn't have a problem with the shirt until customers started to complain.

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. 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.

The controversy started late Tuesday night, when clothing designer Melissa Wardy saw a tweet about the T-shirt and then shared the link on her Facebook page. "I advocate for girls and against this kind of gender stereotyping in the marketplace," she said in an interview with Yahoo! Shine. "My little girl starts kindergarten tomorrow... I don't want her to see a shirt like that on her classmate, something saying that pretty is cute and right and the academics should be left to the boys."

"It incorporates all of the wrong messages for girls," she adds. "Why are we conditioning kids to wear something that degrades their self-worth?"

Tired of girls' clothing that focused on "looks, shopping, or hyper-hyper-girliness," Wardy launched her own line of apparel, called Pigtail Pals, in 2009. She spent Wednesday designing a T-shirt of her own in response to the "I'm too pretty to do homework" message. "Girls deserve better products in the marketplace," she says.

"There's nothing wrong with being girly," Wardy says. "I'm not anti-pink. I'm not anti-princess. I'm anti-limitations."

J.C. Penney removed the T-shirt on Wednesday and issued this statement: "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."

(Please note: Though ABC News reported that Self-Esteem was the brand name of the shirt, the company's lawyer emailed late Wednesday insisting that they are not; there is no call made to made to Self Esteem earlier in the day was not answered. On the JCPenney website, the "I'm too pretty to do homework" T-Shirt is paired with items from the Self-Esteem line.)

Anyone remember Teen Talk Barbie, who complained "Math class is tough!" when you pressed a button on her back?

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/epic-t-shirt-fail-quot-im-too-pretty-to-do-my-homework-so-my-brother-has-to-do-it-for-me-quot-2537106

I'm going to use this comment, posted under the article as the debate question:

Oh my goodness its a shirt!!!! Its meant to be a joke, does no one have a sense of humor anymore. Everyone has to b---- and complain. My daughter has a shirt that says, I'm the Cute Sister. Does it mean my other daughter is ugly Hell No. But its funny. So sick of everyone taking things so extremely far these days. Relax a little bit.

Funny shirt? Demeaning? Don't like it don't buy it? To quote another comment posted after the article, is J.C Penny being "wussy" by "caving" to pressure to pull this shirt?

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

Well, sometimes one person's funny is another person's insult.

It's free speach so I guess I don't have a problem with them offering that kind of idiocy for sale if they want to.

As a parent I feel that it's my responsibility to explain to my DD why it's a stupid thing to say, let alone wear. Yes, it's demeaning - in my opinion. No, I wouldn't buy it for my DD.

But a lot of people wear things I think are tasteless and sometimes offensive. I don't impose my standards or beliefs on them, why would this be any different?

Again, as a mom of a girl (she's 10 now) I talk with my DD a lot about why certain things are funny or are not funny. We talk about why things are or are not appropriate. I would see this as no different from any of those conversations. It's my job to educate her into making good decisions for herself.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Not even in the realm of humour, IMO. Terrible, degrading, disgusting message. Glad JCP apologized and pulled the merchandise, but OMG, what were they thinking to begin with???? Whoever made the final decision at JCP to actually carry/advertise these shirts has, IMO, worse judgment than the girls actually buying and wearing them.

Slight tangent about the talking Barbie....I had a Skipper doll when I was a kid and when you turned her arm she got taller and her boobs grew.:eek:

turtnjay's picture
Joined: 02/24/09
Posts: 2095

I think it's a parental job to teach a child all these lessons. Seeing a funny t-shirt doesn't take all that away. I think it's Bogus, IMO. Let people buy what they want to buy. Just because someone buys a shirt doesn't mean they 'think' or believe it wholly. It's funny! Get over it!

My hubby has a t-shirt that says "I bring nothing to the table". Ha! He is the sole breadwinner, works until 7 every night, deals with a$$ clients all day and still comes home and is best dang hubby and father. It's a stupid, funny t-shirt that always gets a reaction and that's why he thinks it's funny.

My boys have had t-shirts that say things about video games instead of homework, or why go to school when there's dirt to dig in. And both of my twins have a matching "I'm the evil twin" t-shirt. Does it make it true? No! Just cute and funny. And guess what, as their parent, I teach them about their values and ethics and how to identify and reach for goals.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Might as well say "I'm an idiot who only cares about my hair and make up at far too young an age, isn't that great?! tee hee!"

No way in hell I'd let a daughter of mine wear a shirt like that. Ew. It's not funny in the least.

I don't care if it's in the stores or not. There's plenty of degrading and offensive things you can buy anywhere. It's my prerogative to not buy them and to teach my kids why.

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

I wouldn't let any daughter of mine wear it. I will teach my (potential future) daughters to be proud of their intelligence and that it's not something to hide.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I don't think that it is funny at all. I think that it is trashy. I would feel sorry for a little girl who was wearing something like that.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Eh, I think it's funny. I don't think one t-shirt is going to change the way a child's self-esteem, integrity, and sense of humor are going. I think it's crazy it was pulled. Don't like it don't buy it. I'd wear the future trophy wife now! Wink However, I put my kid in all kinds of shirts that others may be offended by that I think are cute.

"Perfect Air Force Brat" -had a parent comment about calling my kid a brat (which I readily admit to doing anyway)

"I don't share" - raised eyebrows from a few people, but nothing said out loud

"Toddler Rules.... (basically everything is mine until it's broken) -usually get giggles on that one

"I made Dad tap out.....twice" that one makes me smile just thinking about it but there is zero chance of my 3 year old doing any sort of martial arts on anyone let alone his dad.

I seriously doubt anybody that puts their kids in t-shirts like the ones in the article and basically anything over the top actually believes the saying, it just made them smile or laugh so they bought it. There are tons of things people could get offended by and I think it's silly of JCP to pull shirts like these. Kinda wussy.

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard. Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

"wlillie" wrote:

There are tons of things people could get offended by and I think it's silly of JCP to pull shirts like these. Kinda wussy.

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard. Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

JCP is in the business of selling clothes and making money. They pulled it bc it was bad PR-- that isn't "wussy" it is savvy business practice. Don't sell stuff that pisses a large part of your clientele off.

I'm shocked to read that you think that anyone struggling to teach their daughters that beauty isn't everything is an idiot. Really? Perhaps you've haven't noticed the recent studies on how attractiveness affects the amount of money you'll make in your lifetime.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1991.tb00458.x/abstract

http://www.miller-mccune.com/blogs/news-blog/attractiveness-enhances-income-prospects-3714/

These shirts are gross and I would not buy them. Ever.

That said, I truly think that the real crises in our country now isn't with our female students (who are outperforming their male counterparts by every measure in K-12, college, law and med schools....) It lies in the boys falling behind and the salary gap between men and women.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

I seriously doubt anybody that puts their kids in t-shirts like the ones in the article and basically anything over the top actually believes the saying, it just made them smile or laugh so they bought it. There are tons of things people could get offended by and I think it's silly of JCP to pull shirts like these. Kinda wussy.

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard.
Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

So you think that doing good business is "wussy"? I find that strange.

You don't have a daughter, do you? How on earth do you know?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"wlillie" wrote:

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard. Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

Well then by all means, please enlighten those of us idiots who have daughters how it's done. I, for one, think it's plenty challenging enough already, and damned sure to get exponentially harder.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard. Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

I'm also really curious as to why you think it's so easy to teach this concept. I think this concept is incredibly hard to teach, one of the bigger challenges out there when raising a daughter who listens to peers and the media. Can you direct me to a parenting class that teaches this specific issue with tried and true results to show it will work on my girls and their girlfriends of varying personalities? I guess I'm one of those freaking idiots.

I think JCP was absolutely correct in removing this. After reading this article, my views of JCP really soured, and even more so with the brand Self Esteem. While I am totally into getting t-shirts that make funny, these t-shirts are not funny in the least. They send the wrong message. I'm sure they also weren't marketing solely for girls 7-16, even though they're the main target.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I am not offended by the shirts but I think they are trashy and I wouldn't allow my child to wear one. I think I have a great sense of humor, but these shirts are not 'funny'...they are dumb and send a stupid message. Why would you want to be called "dumb" or say you only get ahead for your looks? It is a very hard lesson to teach young girls that beauty isn't everything when the media and society constantly push that sort of thing in their face.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"wlillie" wrote:

And honestly, anyone "struggling to teach their girls that beauty isn't everything......" are freaking idiots. It's not all that hard. Maybe they should take a parenting class instead of worrying about what JCP is marketing to girls. It's not like most kids in the 7-14 size are buying their own clothes by themselves.

Wait...you have a daughter right? Ah...nope!

Of course 7-14 year olds typically don't buy their own clothes, it's the mothers that think their daughters looks are going to get them somewhere in life that buy t-shirts like this. It's the mothers that think trashy is in and being smart is a thing of the past. JCP did a good thing by pulling the shirt, it's called GOOD BUSINESS. With the amount of complaints, they would've lost a customer base which = a loss in sales. Of course they should've pulled it.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Well then by all means, please enlighten those of us idiots who have daughters how it's done. I, for one, think it's plenty challenging enough already, and damned sure to get exponentially harder.

Truly. My oldest is only 3.5 and it's already something I am very aware of.

clio's picture
Joined: 11/05/07
Posts: 590

I'm curious to know how many of you would demand that JC Penny pull it if they hadn't already done so.

Some of you have said that it's JC Penny's right, as protected by the U.S.' first amendment, to produce such a t-shirt and the right of others to buy it. But considering that many have also conceded that it is extremely hard to teach your daughters self-esteem because such messages are so prevalent in North American society, would you fight to have the shirt removed?

I would. I find that too often messages that denigrate women and girls are brushed off as jokes, and if we were to consider gender stereotyping and discrimination to be something akin to racism (which I already do), it would go a long way towards protecting our daughters' self-esteem, among many other things. No one would defend JC Penny's right to produce the shirt if it said: "I'm too black to do my homework, so I gave it to my white friend." Why shouldn't females be accorded the same societal protection?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I agree with most of the previous posters - I don't think those shirts are funny or appropriate in any way. I think I have a pretty decent sense of humor (hey, I make ME laugh) but I don't think those shirts are funny at all, not even in a "I know I'm going to hell for laughing at this" kind of way. And I find it even sadder when I consider that a 7 year old that is wearing one of these shirts couldn't buy it for herself, so presumably her parents thought it was funny and appropriate.

I also don't see how anyone who struggles to teach their child that beauty is actually really far down on the list of important attributes is an idiot. Our entire culture seems to aspire to teach girls that their worth is based on their looks. I don't know about you, but I'm a grown woman and I still have to remind myself some days that my worth is much bigger than the number on the scale or the size of my jeans. Why would an impressionable young girl (or her parents) have it any easier?

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

I never liked JC PENNY in the first place, and the shirt is stupid. I'm glad they pulled it off the racks because if a girl wore it, I guarantee another kid would say, "But you're not pretty!!!" That would not end well at all.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I'm not really one to dress my kids in clothes with funny or sarcastic sayings but I could care less if other people do. I have seen some that make me chuckle. The "Boob Man" onesies kind of freak me out though......strange.

And honestly, I could care less what JCP has on their racks. If I don't like something I simply don't purchase it. I'd never dream of demanding that I have a say-so in what some company chooses to sell. That seems ridiculous. I don't expect a clothing store to parent my children, teach them morals, or raise their self-esteem. That's my job.

clio's picture
Joined: 11/05/07
Posts: 590

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

And honestly, I could care less what JCP has on their racks. If I don't like something I simply don't purchase it. I'd never dream of demanding that I have a say-so in what some company chooses to sell. That seems ridiculous. I don't expect a clothing store to parent my children, teach them morals, or raise their self-esteem. That's my job.

Is this a blanket statement regarding JCP or any other mainstream chain store which has lots of customers and whose clothing can be seen worn across the country? Is there nothing that you wouldn't protest? Racist t-shirts, anti-semitic t-shrits, homophobic t-shirts? Do you draw a line?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I'm sorry I offended everyone, but honestly, do you guys know any adult woman or even a teenage woman IRL that believes their looks are more important than anything. I'm vain, my sister is vain, and one out of my 7 bridesmaids is vain. However, none of the other women I've met in life have ever believed that their looks were more important than their personalities and brains. *Ever* If the last few hundred generations were able to raise women who know that their self-worth isn't wrapped up solely in their skin, hair, and figure, then why on earth wouldn't we expect this generation to without having to pull t-shirts off the shelf?

And since the women before us fought for equality and did such a damn good job, why pretend like the stereotypes are still in play? I used to be adorable. A+freaking+adorable. And no one ever treated me differently than they did my friends who weren't as attractive (except when it came to getting initial dates or free drinks). I got asked to be in the math club, and a whole slew of things that were hard and competitive and I really can't see how someone raised in SW Louisiana would have a better experience than those raised in other areas. It doesn't get more judgemental than a Cajun.

Maybe you guys are over thinking it? Do you really think that men don't worry about their looks just as much as women do? I'm not going to have the same issues with my son because he has a penis? Talk about stereotyping....

Pulling the shirts because people complained is a wussy move though I can admit it's good advertising, but it's not good business. Consumers should decide what they are going to buy, not activist. If the shirt wasn't selling, by all means pull it, but to let the minority (because you can't tell me that the majority of people who saw the shirt even thought twice about it) decide what others can wear because it offends them?

What happens when someone calls complaining about blue jeans because they are too provocative and all women should be wearing skirts? Huh? Do we pull those off the shelf so impressionable young women don't get influenced by the big bad clothing manufacturers. When someone gets offended by the gay pride shirts for sale in some stores? Pull those too? Or let them put their big girl/boy panties on and ignore it (choose not to buy it if they can't ignore it) if they don't like it.

How many people who shop at JCPenney would choose to stop because they don't like one shirt?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Honestly, How many of you have decided another woman was unintelligent because she was pretty? Because kids learn from us how to treat other people. If you are going around letting the opinion that women can't be smart AND pretty out, you'd have a problem, but I'm betting most of us aren't doing that. We probably aren't praising our children for their looks, we praise them for their behavior right? And if you have a good relationship with your child and they know that you value them for far more than their gorgeous little faces, then don't you think they'll equate those extra special talents/personality traits/achievements with more positive feelings than just how they look? Wouldn't that carry on into adulthood if the foundation is set up well enough with support throughout their childhood?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"wlillie" wrote:

I'm sorry I offended everyone, but honestly, do you guys know any adult woman or even a teenage woman IRL that believes their looks are more important than anything. I'm vain, my sister is vain, and one out of my 7 bridesmaids is vain. However, none of the other women I've met in life have ever believed that their looks were more important than their personalities and brains. *Ever*

I don't know about *more* important, but I don't think I know a single woman IRL that doesn't think that her looks are pretty important and doesn't fret over them in some way or another. And at the end of the day, why? Why do we worry about our looks so d@mn much? If I have a mate that loves me the way I am (and is thus willing to breed and continue the species with me) why am I and every woman I know so hung up on the way I look? What does it have to do with the price of tea in China?

If you can give me a good answer for why you would bother to be vain when you are a happily married woman, I may concede the point. Biggrin

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

See that's the funny thing. I like looking at pretty things and know others do too. But I don't judge someone's intelligence, kindness, athleticness, or anything else based on how they look. Now if I see that someone isn't taking care of basic personal hygeine, I might think they are lazy, but I still wouldn't have an opinion about their intelligence. Would it be offensive to say that ugly people are always smart? No, because it's stupid to say something like that and people know it's a joke. How come it doesn't reflect the opposite way?

BTW-I have been slacking lately because I've got more important things to do right now (well, not *right* now). My roots are literally two inches long and I haven't worn makeup more than twice since July. And my clothing doesn't fit because I've been eating a lot and haven't had a lot of time for exercise so that's suffering too. When it comes down to it, as a Mommy, then Wife, then Family Member, then Friend, then Co-Worker, then Airman, .... the role of pretty lady is the last thing on my list of things to worry about. Struggling to zip up a pair of jeans that were my fat jeans three months ago only crosses my mind as I'm zipping them. Noting that my toenails need to be done only crosses my mind as I strap up sandles.

Vanity is for those who enjoy being vain; it isn't something a t-shirt is going to change one way or the other.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"clio" wrote:

Is this a blanket statement regarding JCP or any other mainstream chain store which has lots of customers and whose clothing can be seen worn across the country? Is there nothing that you wouldn't protest? Racist t-shirts, anti-semitic t-shrits, homophobic t-shirts? Do you draw a line?

No, I don't draw a line. I don't care what a company chooses to sell because I don't have to shop there if I don't support what they stand for. No one is forcing me to buy my clothes from JCP.......

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

"carg0612" wrote:

Well, sometimes one person's funny is another person's insult.

It's free speach so I guess I don't have a problem with them offering that kind of idiocy for sale if they want to.

As a parent I feel that it's my responsibility to explain to my DD why it's a stupid thing to say, let alone wear. Yes, it's demeaning - in my opinion. No, I wouldn't buy it for my DD.

But a lot of people wear things I think are tasteless and sometimes offensive. I don't impose my standards or beliefs on them, why would this be any different?

Again, as a mom of a girl (she's 10 now) I talk with my DD a lot about why certain things are funny or are not funny. We talk about why things are or are not appropriate. I would see this as no different from any of those conversations. It's my job to educate her into making good decisions for herself.

This. I've seen t-shirts that are far worse than this, even with curse words and sexual positions on them. Bottom line is that even though I think shirts like this are absolutely ridiculous, we do have the freedom of speech, so I guess to each their own. I don't have a problem with JCPenney pulling the shirt, either. It's their right to sell and not sell what they feel is appropriate to their customers.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

I'm sorry I offended everyone, but honestly, do you guys know any adult woman or even a teenage woman IRL that believes their looks are more important than anything. I'm vain, my sister is vain, and one out of my 7 bridesmaids is vain. However, none of the other women I've met in life have ever believed that their looks were more important than their personalities and brains. *Ever* If the last few hundred generations were able to raise women who know that their self-worth isn't wrapped up solely in their skin, hair, and figure, then why on earth wouldn't we expect this generation to without having to pull t-shirts off the shelf?

And since the women before us fought for equality and did such a damn good job, why pretend like the stereotypes are still in play? I used to be adorable. A+freaking+adorable. And no one ever treated me differently than they did my friends who weren't as attractive (except when it came to getting initial dates or free drinks). I got asked to be in the math club, and a whole slew of things that were hard and competitive and I really can't see how someone raised in SW Louisiana would have a better experience than those raised in other areas. It doesn't get more judgemental than a Cajun.

Maybe you guys are over thinking it? Do you really think that men don't worry about their looks just as much as women do? I'm not going to have the same issues with my son because he has a penis? Talk about stereotyping....

Pulling the shirts because people complained is a wussy move though I can admit it's good advertising, but it's not good business. Consumers should decide what they are going to buy, not activist. If the shirt wasn't selling, by all means pull it, but to let the minority (because you can't tell me that the majority of people who saw the shirt even thought twice about it) decide what others can wear because it offends them?

What happens when someone calls complaining about blue jeans because they are too provocative and all women should be wearing skirts? Huh? Do we pull those off the shelf so impressionable young women don't get influenced by the big bad clothing manufacturers. When someone gets offended by the gay pride shirts for sale in some stores? Pull those too? Or let them put their big girl/boy panties on and ignore it (choose not to buy it if they can't ignore it) if they don't like it.

How many people who shop at JCPenney would choose to stop because they don't like one shirt?

Yes! I do! My Yale graduate attorney neighbor just lost her 300K/year salary because she was worried about her weight to the point of a very serious and life threatening eating disorder. She is in the hospital and they are getting a divorce after 10 years of marriage. I was a teenager who valued good grades and got them, lettered in 3 sports/year for 3 years of highschool, yet succumbed to the pressure to be "perfect" body wise.....I was 16 and 118 lbs (at 5'3) when I first went on a diet. It makes me sick to think about. I was very successful at dieting (too much so), yet everyone who knew me would have said that I had a ton of confidence. Wrong. I don't understand you referencing hundreds of generations of women ~ I feel fully confident that as few as two or three generations ago people were worried about having food AT ALL, not about restricting it. Poor argument. Anorexia and the like are relatively new (at least, in their current percentages) disorders.....throughout history being fat was a sigh of success, not failure.

That is great that you didn't get treated differently, but I had a different experience. I absolutely got a huge list of things in my life that I didn't deserve because of my looks. Not bragging. That is statistically normal. Being cute or pretty or attractive or whatever surely brings its own challenges, but the benefits are real and measurable. Argue it all you want, it is proven.

It is in no way sexist to generalize that women suffer more than men with body image issues. Again, statistically proven fact. Of course men suffer as well. Just less often.

As to your last question ~ I don't even know if we have any of those stores around me. I personally would not be an "activist" against the shirt, my "idontcare" meter is set pretty high. Literally don't care. If some trashy Mom buys this for her groomed to be vapid daughter.....well, that is on them Smile Don't care.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

But did they treat you as if you were less intelligent than an ugly person?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

But did they treat you as if you were less intelligent than an ugly person?

Who?

No, they treated me as though my intelligence didn't matter because I happened to be pretty.

The point is, I had to smile, and get things. That required no intelligence. Looks sweep away intelligence on many levels. I don't like it, but I would say that anyone who would argue against that fact is a .....well.........an "idiot" to quote you.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

But are any of the things that you would get because you are pretty important things? Like an education? Or friends? Or a soulmate? Or a good job (besides modeling or the like ;))? I really think the only time intelligence is swept by beauty is initial meetings. Then if you don't have charm, intelligence, or a talent, looks don't get you anywhere. Which is why the t-shirt is funny on top of being trashy. Because it's ridiculous to believe that little girls will think their looks are more important than the way they behave because of a t-shirt.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

But are any of the things that you would get because you are pretty important things? Like an education? Or friends? Or a soulmate? Or a good job (besides modeling or the like ;))? I really think the only time intelligence is swept by beauty is initial meetings. Then if you don't have charm, intelligence, or a talent, looks don't get you anywhere. Which is why the t-shirt is funny on top of being trashy. Because it's ridiculous to believe that little girls will think their looks are more important than the way they behave because of a t-shirt.

I would say interviewing for a job would be quite important. The first thing they judge when coming into an interview is how you look. There's no way to get around that. In a training I just went to this past week, they stated people (including potential employers) judge a person within seconds of meeting and it takes about 20 additional meetings to change a first impression. What hundreds of generations exactly are you referring to where looks were not important? the generation when they pulled their women by their hair? Wait, scratch that, maybe they picked their mates based on the size of their hips. Good for breeding. Did you ever take a women's studies course? There is not one, not one generation that I know of where intelligence trumps looks overall. It's still a work in progress. It was just a given in hundreds of generations past that women were only there for certain things and it wasn't for working outside of the home. That's how they justified not educating women the same as men. They were constantly judged on their appearances. I really don't understand how you think this was different.

Now you have plastic surgeons readily available for those that don't like something about their body, hospitals focusing solely on eating disorders, and the media telling every young girl and boy what they are expected to strive for in their gender roles. A few generations ago, they didn't have nearly as many outside media resources so readily available and it still was a huge issue. I would say it's even MORE difficult proving to young, impressionable girls that looks don't matter. Because in reality, it does matter regardless of if we agree or disagree with it. Even girls as young as two ask about their looks because they want the approval that they look great. They already started learning that looks can be important, not just from within the home, but their peers, social events, and the media. But there needs to be a balance found in proving to young girls how important it is to be educated and smart enough to be able to make informed decisions that affects their lives instead of relying on someone else telling them what is in their best interest. These tshirts send powerful messages to those that lack the self confidence and powerful message to parents as to how their teen may actually see themselves or how they believe others view them. Neither way is a positive result. The tshirts are beyond poor taste.

And if you think that men are just as worried about their looks just as much as women do, please cite this statistical finding. While there are some that spend just as much time in a bathroom as the average women or girl, I can reasonably bet that the percentage is far less than the number of women who spend so much time behind the mirror trying to achieve the right look. I'd also like to know why you believe the genders are now equal. The wage difference for the same jobs are still very substantial that they continue raising flags of concern as to why the disparity.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

But are any of the things that you would get because you are pretty important things? Like an education? Or friends? Or a soulmate? Or a good job (besides modeling or the like ;))? I really think the only time intelligence is swept by beauty is initial meetings. Then if you don't have charm, intelligence, or a talent, looks don't get you anywhere. Which is why the t-shirt is funny on top of being trashy. Because it's ridiculous to believe that little girls will think their looks are more important than the way they behave because of a t-shirt.

Do you really not believe that there is an impact when the world automatically looks at you with a frown versus a smile, from the time that you are very young?

Do you really not believe that things like self confidence and self worth impact ones worldview? And do you really not believe that how the world views you (general you) impacts ones ability to be successful in school, work, marriage, etc? I'm gobsmacked that one could miss that correlation.

So much of ones life is initial meetings! Beyond just job interviews and the like........every year when you meet new parents in your kids class, every time you start a new job, every time you join a new gym, every time you walk into a store etc......people react differently to very pretty and very ugly people. They just do. And if you have discovered a way to make young girls immune to the sting of that, please please clue us all in! Because I think that the accumulation of a lifetime of such stings can be a very internalized thing ~ impacting peoples self esteem, and ultimately creating a situation in which they can be more prone to fail simply due to not believing that they can succeed.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

OK. I see what you guys are saying, but I still don't think the t-shirt will sway a girl one way or the other. My parents and the parents of most of the kids I hung out with didn't really place an emphasis on looks. You did try to be as pretty as you could be, but getting good grades and being kind were much more important. I can see that my experience must have been really fortunate.

And my experience with men vs women and worrying about looks seems to be different too. I've only ever waxed the little space between my eyebrows, but have dated a few men who waxed all sorts of things that appalled me as a small example. I think I used to be attracted to some high maintenance men though.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

OK. I see what you guys are saying, but I still don't think the t-shirt will sway a girl one way or the other. My parents and the parents of most of the kids I hung out with didn't really place an emphasis on looks. You did try to be as pretty as you could be, but getting good grades and being kind were much more important. I can see that my experience must have been really fortunate.

And my experience with men vs women and worrying about looks seems to be different too. I've only ever waxed the little space between my eyebrows, but have dated a few men who waxed all sorts of things that appalled me as a small example. I think I used to be attracted to some high maintenance men though.

I don't think that the t-shirt will sway a girl one way or the other either. I think that a parent who finds that message funny or appropriate for their daughter has already impacted their child more than any tshirt could. I was more replying to your posts stating that it is easy to raise a girl to believe that looks are very secondary and that you would have to be an idiot to muck it up. I truly believe that it is/will be one of the biggest challenges that I face as a parent and as a mother of a daughter.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think that the t-shirt will sway a girl one way or the other either. I think that a parent who finds that message funny or appropriate for their daughter has already impacted their child more than any tshirt could. I was more replying to your posts stating that it is easy to raise a girl to believe that looks are very secondary and that you would have to be an idiot to muck it up. I truly believe that it is/will be one of the biggest challenges that I face as a parent and as a mother of a daughter.

I agree. One t shirt probably isn't going to have a huge impact, but a parent that would buy that t shirt for her daughter sure is.

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think that the t-shirt will sway a girl one way or the other either. I think that a parent who finds that message funny or appropriate for their daughter has already impacted their child more than any tshirt could. I was more replying to your posts stating that it is easy to raise a girl to believe that looks are very secondary and that you would have to be an idiot to muck it up. I truly believe that it is/will be one of the biggest challenges that I face as a parent and as a mother of a daughter.

This!