For Christmas last year, one of my friends gave me a coffee cup that said, “I’m too pretty to work”. I love that cup. And I love that friend even more for giving it to me! However, I am hesitant to bring it to work in case my boss sees it, disagrees, and decides I’m “too pretty” to receive a paycheck.
Now do I really think I’m too pretty to work? Hardly. I’m known for what I do rather than my appearance, and I’m definitely cool with that. And if I want to continue being successful in my job, it’s going to require hard work rather than hours spent on beautifying myself.
However, that doesn’t stop me from using that cup from time to time just to pretend I really am too pretty to work.
I thought of that cup when I came across the latest un-PC item to hit the shelves that has parents in an uproar. In bright letters it states “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother does it for me”. And, according to many disgruntled shoppers, it’s sending the wrong message to girls – that prettiness means more than being smart, and good looks alone will get them far in life. Educators are fighting against the stereotype that girls must play dumb if they want to be liked or popular, and the fear is that a message like this can undo everything. And I get the concern and everything. But while they fought the good fight to strip the stores of this shirt, I’m wondering….
Have they seen the other t-shirts being sold to kids????
Here are shirts being sold in our department stores for the 7-14 age group:
“If you’re looking for trouble, you found it” – Because labeling our children ‘trouble’ will make them behave so well, right?
“Indoor Person” (depicting a stick figure playing video games) – Now there’s something to be proud of.
“Girls rule, brothers drool” – So by buying this for your daughter, you are basically telling your son they suck. Way to go, mom.
“BFF + cuteness + boys + music + me = awesome” – As long as their priorities are set straight, right?
“Will trade brother for a horse” – Again, a 4-legged animal that eats and poops is way better than your son, right mom?
“Official Class Clown” – Refusing to listen to their teacher in favor of making the whole class laugh, yet another thing your child should be proud of.
And you think those are bad, they’re worse for babies:
“My mom is a hottie” – Because a baby saying their mom is hot is NOT disturbing.
“Mama’s little bad boy” – Ok, the kid can’t even talk, and he’s now a bad boy. See how well that ‘bad boy’ image flies when he’s getting girls pregnant and smoking crack.
“I’m with the MILF” – Reminder, this is a baby tee. The baby is calling mom a MILF. Enough said.
“Accident” – Guess what, Junior? We didn’t plan for you. In fact, we didn’t even want you. But we had no choice because you were an ACCIDENT.
(Front) “I could cooperate, but two problems…” (Back) “it’s no fun, and what’s in it for me?” – Basically, don’t do anything unless you get something in return, and it’s fun. Good luck getting a job that caters to that.
And after all these horribly offensive t-shirts being sold to our innocent youth, I have one thing to say –
Dear American Public:
Lighten up. They’re just t-shirts. If your child is looking to t-shirts to teach them life lessons, especially ones emblazoned with sarcastic quips, then you have bigger problems on your hands.
A sarcastic mom
The truth is, I’m almost tempted to find a bootlegged copy of that banned t-shirt for my daughter. She’d think it was funny because she IS smart, and she’s super great about getting her own homework done. Her brother would think it was funny because he would probably sabotage her on purpose to add fuel to their sibling rivalry if she ever did make him do her homework.
Plus, I do think she’s pretty. Ok?
I’m also tempted to buy it for her because my pretty little tomboy daughter wouldn’t be caught dead in a shirt that tells the world she’s too pretty to do anything. Making her wear this would be a fantastic form of torture.
What is the funniest t-shirt you’ve ever seen?
When it comes to sarcastic t-shirts there are three kinds of people: Those who wear them, those who don’t, and those who don’t like anyone even discussing their existence (Duh).
Thanks James. Had to delete the comment you’re referring to. A little too negative for my taste. 🙂
People are waaaayyyy too sensitive. Get over yourself. It’s just a t-shirt, not a life philosophy. Only people I see who should be offended, are the ones with stupid daughters.
The most inappropriate onesie I ever saw said “Hung like a 5 year old.”
I don’t understand the uproar. It is a t-shirt. There are t-shirts that say “I’m with Stupid” with an arrow pointing to the left/right. Who cares?
If people were offended by the shirt, they shouldn’t buy them. Then the manufacturer would have a hard time selling them. This is the free market. If someone made a pink shirt with purple polka-dots, yellow stripes and a green elephant on the front, it probably wouldn’t sell. The manufacturer would stop selling it. I don’t understand why people are so concerned about what a t-shirt says.
“T-shirt gives the wrong message”?? My goodness. It is the freaking parents job to give the right message, not the manufacturer of t-shirts. People these days are so pathetic. Overly sensitive…doesn’t even begin to describe this overly litigious, hypersensitive, overbearing disaster we’ve created. When a kid is influenced by what a t-shirt says, the end is near.
Be careful Jim The author may delete your comments.
Only if they’re totally mean and off-topic. Sorry, human being here.
My husband gets really annoyed by people who do stupid things. His favorite shirt to wear when we travel through airports says “Did you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast?” Not very nice, I know, but you really do encounter some people in airports that have trouble usuing their brains. He has even caused a couple guys to fall off their chairs laughing as he walked by. He also bought a shirt at Disneyland that has Grumpy on it and says “I’m Grumpy because you are Dopey”.
Now on the other hand… I don’t allow my kids to wear shirts that are mean like that. But my son did have a couple onsies and bibs that said “Tax Deduction”, which is funny for us because I’m an Accountant and working on my CPA.
What you miss is that controversy usually only occurs when the target is girls. There are far more t-shirts, coffee mugs, calendars, etc. aimed at putting boys down (“Boy’s are stupid, throw rocks at them”), which, incidentally, you have never blogged about.
I would imagine that you want your son to express his feelings. Yet, by sending him a message that he should just “take it like a man” and laugh at his own expense does just the opposite.
That’s the world we live in. Girls are protected, coddled in schools while boys are diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin when they act like boys. Competition, which boys thrive on, is eliminated in youth sports by not keeping score, giving everyone a trophy and having no loser in games.
TV shows are almost exclusively anti-father, with the dad always a bumbling fool and the mom the one who has to deal with male ineptness. If the opposite were on TV, with a woman being shown to be dumb or clumsy, every woman’s group on the planet would demand (and get) a boycott of the station, the advertisers, etc. You never hear a peep from a “NOM” (national organization for men) because it doesn’t exist. It would be called sexist, demonized in the media, sued and eventually forced to include women.
I’m not trying to be mean. These are just facts. Men are always ridiculed for acting like men. Women want feminine men, or at least led to believe they do via the media. It starts when they are young, in elementary school.
One last point….these shirts aren’t being sold to “innocent youth”. they are being sold to parents, who choose to buy them.
Actually there is a National Organization for Men; they just have very few members. I do concur with you, with the exception of the next to last sentence. My take on why misandry is accepted while misogyny is not is (1) because we live is a misandric society, (2) because men are hardwired to be problem solvers and hence, not complain, and (3) men fear being called “whiners” more than women fear being called “bitchy.” As far as TV, advertisers know that women make 90% of the family’s consumer decisions, so they support sitcoms and create advertisements that bash men. The exception is Super Bowl Sunday, when even the smallest sight toward women causes uproar.
And it is usually mothers who choose to buy them.
These types of t-shirts are nothing new. I am 41 and used to wear t-shirts with off humor, sarcastic comments when I was a teen. They used to sell them at the Tower Records store. Teens like to draw attention to themselves sometimes. You will be hard pressed to find a teen girl who really thinks she is too pretty for anything. This is the curse of being a teen girl. BTW there are plenty of t-shirts for boys that are just as “offensive.”
My hubby is super tall, just shy of 7′. I bought him a t-shirt that he refuses to wear. It states: “No, I don’t play basketball. But I do have a magic johnson”. LOL I think it’s hysterical. But he hates anything that calls attention to his height, and it’s too inappropriate for his tastes. He would concede to one that says “No, I don’t play basketball. Are you a jockey?” But I don’t think that’s nearly as funny. 🙂
Great blog piece Crissi. Completely agree with you.