JC Penney, department store giant, is creating quite the buzz with a new shirt from their back-to-school collection. The decidedly anti-feminist juniors shirt is tag lined as Too Pretty to do Homework. The description of the shirt bears the question, “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this T-shirt that is just as cute and sassy as she can be.”

While I wouldn’t suggest our children look toward a T-shirt to instill a sense of purpose or self-worth, I have to wonder what JCPenney was thinking when they decided to carry the tee. Not only does the archaic and stereotypical shirt suggest that being pretty and smart are not synonymous, but heavy-duty thinking should be left up to the boys. Since, you know, thinking is a boys' game and looking good is girls' territory right?  
An online petition at was started asking people to boycott the department store until the shirt was taken off the market. Amidst pressure from the petition and outraged parents the shirt was taken off the website. Another shirt, presumably from the same line, has a similar anti-girl message. A hot pink shirt which is selling for a mere $4.99, details a young girl’s best school subjects. “These are subjects I totally rock at,” says the tag line on the website. The subjects emblazoned on the shirt include: boys, shopping, music, and dancing. The message on both shirts is clear: girls are stupid and should stick to the lighter things in life, like being cool and attracting boys.
It’s sad that in today’s day and age we still have to overcome silly stereotypes about a girl’s intellect. Boys aren’t bombarded nearly as much with advertisements that question who they are, as girls are. Something tells me that the boy’s juniors shirts aren’t nearly as offensive and presumptuous as these T-shirts for young girls.

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Niesha is a writer, diversity editor, and traveler. Her bylines include Glamour,, Business Insider, Women's Health, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. She is the digital editor for Bust. Keep up with her at 

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