Sometimes, when things are in the market, it’s amazing that they made it through that many levels of business planners and designers without anyone stopping to consider the implications. It’s not until the company faces backlash that they seem to realize the offensiveness of the original product.
That’s what recently happened when Forever 21 put out this line of shirts that was immediately latched onto by people on the Internet who are calling it racist, sexist, and offensive all-around.
Forever 21 is facing a lot of fire for this line of shirts, which many believe promote sexism and racism to little boys. It’s not the first time the company has been accused of sexism in their children’s shirts. They once produced a girl’s shirt that read, “Allergic to Algebra,” but apparently they haven’t learned their lesson.
This line features phrases that seem to encourage little boys to objectify women before they’re even old enough to date them.
Although these phrases may seem harmless, many find them to be less funny and more offensive. The phrases include words such as “Chicks are all over me” and “Ladies man,” which consumers have pointed out may encourage young boys to look at women as objects.
In addition to this, because the shirts are marketed to boys of such a young age, it’s sexualizing them before they’re even old enough to have relationships.
Shallow and Racist?
On top of potentially encouraging small boys to objectify women, the shirts have been accused of teaching them to be shallow, too, with phrases such as “Sorry ladies I only date models.” On top of these accusations, some think that the shirt that reads “Hola ladies” may encourage cultural appropriation or even racism.
Forever21 subsequently pulled the line of shirts, and issued this apology. According to 22 Words, “Forever 21 takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. With regards to the T-shirts in question, after receiving feedback we have taken immediate action to have them removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the products.”
It’s an apology that not everyone is buying.