Children's Place Pulls Imprinted Girls' T-shirt from Shelves After Charges of Sexism
Retailer The Children's Place has pulled a T-shirt from its stores after coming under fire this week for an imprint some have called sexist. The girls' shirt shows a list of "My Best Subjects," and features checkmarks next to shopping, music and dancing, but not math.
The controversy started when photos of the "My Best Subjects" tee as well as another with the imprint "Born to Wear Diamonds" appeared online. An article on Jezebel, one of the first sites to post the images, noted that the comparable boys' shirts "paint the picture of a pro-active kid putting himself out there and making things happen" and accused the company of pushing negative stereotypes on young girls.
Parents flooded The Children's Place's Facebook with more than 2,000 comments, with some criticizing the company for being insensitive toward women while others defended the shirt as lighthearted humor. After the story was picked up by several news sources including ABC News and the Huffington Post, the company announced it would stop selling the T-shirt.
"It has come to our attention that some of you view our Best Subjects T shirt as insensitive towards girls and women," The Children's Place said in a Facebook post. "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."
Although the shirt is no longer for sale, the conversation continues on Facebook and Twitter, with some applauding the company's decision while others accuse some parents of overreacting. One woman noted that The Children's Place sells a similar shirt in Canada, only with the "Math" box checked off, leading to further debate.
Several companies have battled with bad press following controversial T-shirt designs this year. Both Nike and Adidas were criticized for T-shirt imprints this year, and in June, a screen printer went out of business after designing a shirt with the phrase "Keep Calm and Rape a Lot." Last month, retailer Urban Outfitters was also accused of poor judgment when it sold a shirt featuring an image similar to the symbol of a notorious Chicago street gang.
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.