Wednesday 14 September 2011

Too pretty to do Homework?

Just this week, retailer Forever 21 began offering for sale a shirt for girls emblazoned with the slogan "Allergic to Algebra." And a few weeks ago, JC Penney offered similar girls' shirts with the slogan "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me."

It's scary that someone would come up with a slogan like this.  Scary because it means someone who does extensive marketing thought that it was a shirt young women would buy.  Scarier because dozens of employees at various levels from management to  sales clerks seemed to let it pass with little or no resistance to presenting these demeaning images to young girls for sale.

Apparently they have been pulled from sales floors after protests from customers, but I wonder if it was the parents or their children who protested.  And I wonder how popular they were before they were pulled.  I don't think Penney's created problem, so we still have to deal with the ugly truth that made the companies believe that such a slogan was marketable.  Screaming at JC Penney stores won't fix the problem.  We have to do that in the homes and classrooms of America. 

1 comment:

Jess A said...

These are so sad! But it's 100% truth. "Normal" people are terrified of math. Those that love it are generally ostracized for being either overachievers or crazy. And then of course there's the related issue that those who do happen to love math are told that their love of math will never lead to an "actual job", further discouraging students from pursuing math.