Forever 21 seemed to learn nothing from JCPenney’s “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me” shirt fiasco.
Just a couple weeks after JCPenney pulled the offensive shirt from its website, Forever 21 debuted an equally questionable top for young girls. The red shirt, which reads “Allergic to Algebra,” suggests that being smart or good at math would just be, you know, the worst thing in the world.
A photo of the tee posted on Reddit.com sparked a slew of angry comments, and one day after, the retailer announced it would pull the shirt from its website. “Our merchandise is intended to appeal to all audiences, not to offend them,” Linda Chang, a senior marketing manager for Forever 21, said in a statement to ABCNews.com. “We would like to apologize to our customers as our intent was not to discredit education and we are taking the proper actions necessary.”
Jezebel rightly points out how shirts like this play into the idea that being smart isn’t as important as being pretty for girls. Or that being pretty is an excuse to not give a crap about your grades. At a time when U.S. students continue to slip behind their global counterparts in education rankings, messages like that seem all the more unfashionable.