T-Shirt Deja Vu

Bad PR movesA few weeks back JC Penney caused quite a stir with their T-shirts that read “I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother does it for me.” As one might imagine happening, there were cries of sexism over the shirts and JC Penney quickly pulled the shirts from their online store and life went on.

So here we are a few weeks later and Forever 21 came out with a line of T-Shirts emblazoned with phrases such as “Skool Sucks” and “Allergic to Algebra.” And gee, what a surprise, there are cries of sexism again!  There is even a petition asking Forever 21 to stop selling clothes with sexist messages.

Clearly today’s youth loves edgier, brasher quotes, messages and whatnot — hey, every generation has their ‘thing.’  It isn’t so much what the t-shirts said that bothered me.  Rather, it was the fact that within just weeks of the JC Penney hullabaloo, Forever 21 came out with essentially the exact same offending sort of T-shirt!  Did Forever 21 not realize that their T-Shirts would cause the same outcry as the JC Penney shirts did? With the instantaneous nature and power of social media, we learn pretty quickly from our mistakes or, the mistakes of others. So why Forever 21 didn’t immediately pull the plug on their T-Shirt makes this a total GWH W.T.F. (Winner, Toss-Up or Flop) Award designation: Flop.

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