*This post has been updated
Forever 21 is known for its affordable casual wear and witty printed tees, but recently, they released a line of products that went a little too far. Three boys’ t-shirts displayed messages that perpetuated negative attitudes toward women.
As Yahoo! Style first pointed out, the $10.90 shirts said “Chicks are all over me,” “Sorry ladies I only date models” and “Ladies man [sic].” The first shirt has already sold out in sizes 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10, meaning pre-teen boys are likely already walking around with the phrases pinned to their chests.
These shirts make it seem cute and funny to call women “chicks” and suggest that young boys are fending off their female classmates, who must be desperate for male attention in, what, 5th grade classrooms across the country?
The shirts endorse traditional concepts of masculinity: boys must be heterosexual and on the hunt for only conventionally attractive girls. Multiple studies have linked this type of attitude to sexual harassment in schools, claiming that gender boundaries create a culture of bullying and homophobia.
Forever 21 might have thought the shirts were playful and harmless, but it seems unnecessary to amplify the bad stuff children’s clothing. We’re seeing enough of that in the presidential election.
UPDATE: Forever 21 sent the following message to Motto:
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