In a controversy with quicker shrinkage than a 100% cotton T-shirt, The Children’s Place rapidly yanked a sexist, anti-math T-shirt for young girls from its shelves Monday after parents flooded the store’s Facebook page with angry comments.
"My Best Subjects," the offending T-shirt said at the top, with a checklist underneath for shopping, dancing, music and math. Math was the only box not checked, followed by the words, "Well, nobody's perfect.”
I can think of worst crap I’ve seen printed on girls’ bodies. (Remember A&F’s “Who needs a brain when you have these?” T-shirts that spawned a “girlcott” in 2005?) But we expected more from a store known for its affordable, fashion-forward clothes for toddlers to pre-teens.
About 10 hours after disgusted bloggers began posting commentary about the bimbo-as-fashion T-shirt, the New Jersey-based children’s retailer issued this statement on its Facebook page:
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We take feedback from our customers very seriously. It has come to our attention that some of you view our Best Subjects T shirt as insensitive towards girls and women. This was not our intent. There are countless women in all walks of life who excel in math, including our very own CEO. We have pulled this product from our stores and we want to express our apologies to anyone we may have offended.
The female CEO they’re waving at us is Jane T. Elfers, who left Lord & Taylor to take over Children’s Place in 2009. I guess she did the math and figured a piece of cloth wasn’t worth pissing off Mom Nation.
This isn’t the toughest public crisis she’s had to deal with. Back in April, an eight-story building that contained garment factories that has produced apparel for Children’s Place and other Western brands on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed and killed nearly 400 people.
Ms. Elfers is probably relieved that she only has to worry about hurting little girls’ self-esteem this week.
To help her and the T-shirt slogan writers at Children’s Place adapt to the 21st century, I’d like to get them started on a few alternative messages to consider for their girls’ clothing line. Why they’re at it, let’s get rid of the disparity between the boys’ T-shirts emphasizing surfing, drums, athletics and rebellion and the girls’ clothing dwelling on glitter and diamonds.
I <3 My Uterus
Duct tape: a girl’s best friend
We run this mother (yeah)
Pocket This, Polly!
Future Warrior Woman
Don’t call me baby
My other shoes are cleats
Get your sparkle out of my science
36 countries have had a woman president. I'm going to make it 37.