J.C. Penney's 'Too Pretty To Do Homework' T-Shirt Is Too Stupid for Words

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J.C. Penney is now selling a T-shirt for girls aged 7 to 16 that says, unabashedly, across its front: "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me." Its sale price ($9.99 down from the original $16.99) seems to indicate that people may be too smart to buy into such girl-undermining messaging. The sales pitch with the tee reads, "Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Bieber album out? She'll love this tee that's just as cute and sassy as she is."

J.C. Penney is not known for being all that in touch or with it, but this seems particularly egregious and Internet-rage worthy -- and, as such, people are taking to Twitter to express their disgust. There's an online petition against it circulating, too -- currently it has 685 signatures.

rsz_tooprettyjcpenneytee.jpg

We called J.C. Penney Corporate to get a comment on whatever possessed them to think this was a good idea. We'll update when we hear back, but, at any rate, we expect the shirt will be made unavailable fairly soon.

Other shirts in the line include a "Justin Beaver's Future Girlfriend" tee and a "self-esteem" tee that says "I love my best friends / girls rock / girls have more fun."

Update: J.C. Penney has responded with the following statement:

J.C. Penney is committed to being America's destination for great style and great value for the whole family. We agree that the "Too pretty" t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale. Our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them. We would like to apologize to our customers and are taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise that they have come to expect.

Update 2: In a further conversation with J.C. Penney about the offending tee, Kate Coultas of Corporate Communications told us, "We are not happy about the shirt! We're looking into it right now, to find out how it happened. It was only online, not available in stores, and we have removed it from the site."

We asked if J.C. Penney would consider donating to a girl's educational program, as some people on Twitter had been asking them to do. Coultas referred to J.C. Penney's history of support to after school programs, saying, "One of the reasons we're so outraged is that this is not what we stand for. We've facilitated over $100 million [in donations] over the past 10 years to support after school programs in local communities. That's a key important message for us."

As for what exactly happened, here, Coultas says they're still trying to figure that out, and don't know if there will be consequences for any person in particular. "The most important thing was to pull it off the site. We want to make sure our customers know we are very, very sorry," she said.

The online outcry, by the way, started this morning and popped up on J.C. Penney's radar shortly thereafter, with the customer relations team responding to numerous customer complaints. The power of the Internet, people -- killing one sexist T-shirt at a time.

[h/t @nycjenny]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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147 comments
CB
CB

What a joke you are. Ever heard of a free-market economy? I've you don't like it, don't buy it and the other 300 million of us will do as we see fit.

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

oops. i hit "like" instead of "reply," when it was my intention to call your comment stupid. or, in other words—"yes, that's right. the problem with this world is that people think too much."

hmb
hmb

What worries me about this story is that some complaining yuppie can get JC Penny to change what they sell. If you don't like it then don't support it by buying it. If enough people agree then they won't buy it either and JC Penny will stop selling it. Wether you like it or not you really don't have the right to go around telling everyone what to do.

Sarees
Sarees

lovely t-shirts and fashion has no boundaries the thoughts are always been expressed

Mfarwell
Mfarwell

its a  damn t shirt, lighten up, get a clue! I wish I could find one for my granddaughter but she's only 5, but that little girl has more common sense and has a better grip on reality than these liberal whiny ass ball breaking' malcontent  bitches

Guest
Guest

Really who cares. It's a cute tee, meant jokingly between siblings. For all these femenist nut jobs give it a rest. Can we Women do equally what Men do? Not always. Are we as smart as them? Yes. But we all know it, if we like it or not, beauty gets us girls further. If we got a great brain we are looked at as a threat. Women were designed to be a helper to Men not as an equal.

Hope
Hope

Why is there an ad for breast augmentation at the top of this site?? Just sayin'...

christian clothing
christian clothing

It is good that they have stopped selling the shirts. Statement tees should promote good values. 

Mimi
Mimi

This is ridiculously stupid. There are tees out there that say similar things and nobody ever throws a riot about them.

"Stupid Factory - Where boys are made""Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!"So it's okay to target men for some reason! Feminists, if you want equality so bad then deal with it! You can't claim to be a feminist and them expect men to treat you better, like dolls and angels sent from heaven. Chivalry is dead because YOU WANTED EQUALITY. Now just accept it.

Let's change the shirt to say "I'm too smart to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me". I'm sure you'd be okay with that. Bunch of hypocrites. (P.S. I am a woman, thanks.)

TooPretty
TooPretty

Seriously?? I am a 40 something mother of 3 girls and I DO NOT find this T-shirt offensive, in fact where can I buy it??? My girls do not have any brothers so to me it is funny. People need to get a grip! Everyone is always ready to sue, fight or protest about something. Have any of you complainers read some of the obnoxious degrading T-shirts out there…Go to any sea side boardwalk and pitch a fit about those. If someone gets fired, sued, or reprimanded for this T-shirt I would feel it to be a bit excessive…Really, where can I buy it?? I would also like one that says “I’m too handsome to do homework so my cat has to do it for me” to give to my nephew! :o)

Lexi
Lexi

Here's a thought...instead of sitting on your ass on the internet writing about how a t-shirt company doesn't uphold your feminist standards when it comes to clothing, maybe go out and volunteer at a battered women's shelter? Or do something else constructive with your time that actually makes a difference in women's rights. Boohoo, a t-shirt makes a tongue-in-cheek comment, oh wah, the suffragettes were all in vain because of a silly message on a shirt in a middle class department store. For fucks sake, go make yourselves useful and stop vilifying a shirt.  

Nameistaken
Nameistaken

Ok, so we're worried about an overall benign T-shirt that not many girls will be wearing anyway but we'll ignore the constant barrage of TV shows on Disney Channel and so forth that are constantly showing tween and teen girls as self-absorbed, connving, egotistical, sex-maniacs who belittle eachother, fight with eachother, are at times overtly cruel to eachother and treat boys like imbeciles.  Oh, not to mention how disrespectful they are to their parents and those in authority over them. Let's not forget that if their dress and shows aren't enough, they can always go to the movies and be "vamped", the living dead is always a great thing to fill their lives with and they can act as disgusting as those characters.Oh yeah, I can see where this shirt is much more problematic.  Good grief...I'm glad I have boys.  They can choose from the myriad of rotting skulls instead. >:/ Perhaps we should just expect JC Penny to fold up shop and go away for this heinous crime?  Sarcasm fully intended.  I'm glad they pulled it down, it is stupid, however, there are much worse out there and no one seems to care.  What about Walmart at Christmas with their shirts that say "Dear Santa, it wasn't my fault" or others to the ilk of blaming brothers or being greedy...oh and let's not forget their skull T-shirts that are the exact replica of the Nazi symbol for the 3rd SS....wouldn't want to forget that one.  I wonder how many of you out there bought these for your sons and thought he was "cool" rather than the fact that you just dressed him up and promoted the Nazi mentality.  But, that would be ok....HYPOCRITES!!

Spunky
Spunky

I feel like people are trying to find different ways to get free money but making accusations like something as simple as a children's shirt offended them.

oldy22
oldy22

Maybe if schools had dress codes this BS would not fly. I am not saying Uniforms I am saying shirts with no logo or writing on them except school logos. Dress jeans or pants without holes and no daisy dukes. Shorts that are decent.

Brevard10ad
Brevard10ad

Oh, give me a fucking break! Does anyone have a sense of humor anymore. I love the shirt!

Taneesha Crawford
Taneesha Crawford

its funny. I went to rock the Bells this past weekend and saw severeal girls/women wearing a shirt that says "High Heels, High Hopes"

Ava15
Ava15

Why would you want to have your young daughter walking around in a t-shirt that makes her look stupid?

Plizanich
Plizanich

What is all the fuss? There are way worst shirts out there. Really parents?

Clarity Lowry
Clarity Lowry

guys wear shirts like this and my brother has one that says dont blame me blame my sister and i've seen worse that guys wear and how come its suddenly not ok that girls have this t? i dont get that and i would so buy this t-shirt KEEP IT IN THE STORES :-)

Lorees65
Lorees65

the shirt is really saying that "My brother is so butt ugly that the only thing he can do is all the homework, because he will always be alone!"

Maddy
Maddy

The power of the Internet, people -- killing one sexist T-shirt at a time. - because they have nothing better to do!

Ava15
Ava15

Why is it ok to denigrate women? To say that an attractive girl doesn’t have to be smart because she can just get by on her looks? Can you imagine a shirt for boys that says” I’m too handsome to do my homework, so my sister has to do it for me?” It’s not so simple to say “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it”. JC Penney has a responsibility to its customers to promote a message to young and impressionable girls (as well as the rest of the marketplace) that is not sexist. This has to do with what the company stands for. If a company had a t-shirt with a message that was racist, even if some people wanted to wear it, would it be okay to sell it?

Ekudram
Ekudram

What are you people the PC police?

Kevin Watterson
Kevin Watterson

Now we can set our sights on those offensive "Girls rule, boys drool" shirts. 

Or something. 

Lildevil030494
Lildevil030494

Just dont buy the damn shirt!! Why is this even a issue? People put too much thought into stuff.

alli gatorrrr
alli gatorrrr

well, wasn't it not too long ago that Wet Seal [or a store along those lines] was selling a shirt with a VERY obvious spelling/grammatical error on it and they found NO reason to pull it from the shelf, and they thought it was PERFECTLY fine to still sell the item.  so, all the school-aged girls were walking around with shirts that had a message on it that was grammatically INCORRECT,  which portrays such a negative message to everybody!!!! 

this situation sort of ties in with that one; this shirt in the article is pretty much telling youth "oh, i'm pretty so i can get away with things or pass them onto others" but the shirt at Wet Seal was saying "well, even we can make OBVIOUS spelling errors on our merchandise and STILL sell it. so in the long run, things such as spelling and grammar errors don't really matter all that much in life so what's the point in learning it?" 

i just think it's CRAP.  but that's just me.  what do i know?

alli gator
alli gator

i'm going for a dual masters program.  i'm wondering if i could contact their warehouse and have one shipped to me for a discounted rate since they were 'discontinued' and all...

Kato
Kato

without freedom of speech, we would be where? Get your heads on straight its a t shirt!  what the hell is wrong with everyone?  ITS A T SHIRT. Not as offensive as many that are worn daily. Oh and while you're at it, let's all try to keep this crap from being so "important" who cares? It is a non issue that some one got their back up over , move on.

Fdpeach
Fdpeach

When I went to school there wasn’t a girl in school that didn’t excel in the class room. This is just stupid T-shirt like "Juicy". Why must the American female swarm like vultures on anything the even approaches bad taste. They head to Human resources at the drop of a bad joke looking for a promotion or better file a lawsuit over a bad joke. Grow up and join the rest the of world, you are not going to retire suing a company for bad taste, the sooner you see your self as a responsible adult and not a victim the better off you will be.

Kathy
Kathy

There is nothing wrong with this shirt I have seen and still see shirts that are a lot worse than this one in all  stores.  Shirts that are very low cut and even short ones that show off the belllies of the kids  Why aren't they taken off the shelves??  I have seen kids in the schools that wear shirts that have profanity on it or well lets say for example Hey you D<*& A)) What is your F*( problem.  These are the ones that we really need to be concerned about if you really want to go there.  Also I think that we as American have a whole lot more to worry about than something like this.  Look at what  the East coast, Texas, Oklahoma, and all of the other states  are going through.  The wars that we are involved in.  We need to remember to pray to God for our souls.  Have we all forgotten what our military men and women are fighting for They are fighting for OUR FREEDOM Do we remember that.  No all you seem to be worried about is a stupid t shirt with a saying I'm to pretty to do homework so I got my brother to do it.  I bet that happens more often than not.  Have a lot more to say but I know that a lot of you out there do not agree you just want it your way just like people dictating to us we can't pray, say the Pledge of Alligance, or even have the word God put on stuff.  What has happened to us.  Have we become a COMMUNIST COUNTRY?  It sure seems that way to me. 

Hugevolsfan2000
Hugevolsfan2000

i bet anyone who has one is making a fortune on ebay. it is and will be a collectors item

Jaxa Taxa
Jaxa Taxa

This t-shirt *is* sexist, but towards boys not girls. You may have noticed that girls are different from boys. It follows that girl power is different from boy power. How do girls get power? Traditionally it has been based on physical appearance. Pretty girls are powerful/popular. Boys...not as much. Historically they have gotten power in other ways They are the oppressed worker in this scenario while the pretty (and hence powerful) girl is the oppreser. This shirt is a celebration of female power and dominance over males.

Ava
Ava

 Did you actually read the article? HUNDREDS of people complained about the shirt, including the reporter from the Village Voice. THAT'S why JCP stopped selling it.

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

yes, it's just a damn t-shirt. that's why i'm buying my kids t-shirts for christmas with big black swastikas on them. they're fun! they don't mean anything! lighten up! it's just a t-shirt! 

Laika
Laika

always sad to hear from a woman who has benefited from feminism and now chooses to bite the hand that fed her by trashing "feminist nut jobs". progress doesn't just happen. people have to make it happen. i think the words you were looking for were "thank you."

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

took me about five seconds to google that there is exactly the same outrage about those designs, and a campaign to have those shirts discontinued as well. nice try, though. actually, it really wasn't very nice at all was it? you shouldn't get all fired up about something that takes five seconds of research to disprove.

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

You're too old to have an opinion. Younger people should speak for you.

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

Hm. What were you sitting on when you wrote this? Or do you always stand when you're on the internet? No one was villifying a shirt. The villification is reserved for the message. Although, it is a spectacularly ugly shirt, so put me down for its villification, at least. Such a sad cliché: you're imagining that the person you disagree with exists only to present the idea you don't like. They have as busy a life as you do. Don't flatter yourself. They just happen to have an opinion — one that took as much time to express as you did to wail about. And just how does expressing an opinion on the net mean that you aren't doing other things? Stupid.

Ava15
Ava15

 Aww, too bad you won't be able to wear this idiotic t-shirt. FEMINISTS WIN!

red_zone
red_zone

So. because there are other shirts that are perceived as 'worse', means we shouldn't complain about another shirt that's bad, too?

And there is nothing that says we can't worry about other things. We have a LOT of things to be concerned about; there no limit or restrictions..

Kids already get enough mixed messages through media. There's no getting around it and there's only so much parents can do to stem the flow. Girls especially are getting TONS of mixed messages telling them what they should do, think, say and act. Much of it is in relation with guys and how you should be with them.

You REALLY think it's a good idea for something like this to be thrown out there to children who are at such an impressionable age?

Guest
Guest

no the words i was looking for were look at what a mess feminism has caused. higher divorce rates, more women being killed in war zones, women thinking it's ok to kill babies before they are born, women thinking they can raise children by themselves and the children turn out ok (children need their fathers) it's because of the feminist movements this country's moral has declined. if women stayed home took care of their families, fulfilled their husbands desires and stopped thinking they were equals to men our children would be able to live in a much better world, families would remain strong units & not divorced. i'm not biting the hand that feeds me because i do not practice such idiocracy. if we could go back even 70 years ago it would be a much better place. the man should be the leader of the home. so i say no thank you to your feminist ways. i do as God has intended when he first took the rib from Adam and that is be a help meet to my husband.  

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

@mimi: in fact, another five seconds of googling reveals that those shirts were the target of a huge international campaign which resulted their successful removal from over 3500 chains. they were also the target of a human rights complaint in canada, and the subject of a debate show on CNBC. the Canadian Children's Rights Council convinced the Bay (one of Canada's biggest department stores) to not only discontinue those shirts, but to never buy from that company again. what a terrible, stupid example you picked. in fact, you couldn't have found a better example for the opposite side of the argument! good job!

laika_and_milou
laika_and_milou

ah. well, let me address you in the fashion you prefer, then:

shut up, woman, and get back in the kitchen!  dinner better be on time, and then you better get your kit off and be in bed waiting for me to get off before i pass out for the night. and you better not look like you're enjoying it, because i didn't marry no whore! 

and stay off the internet! don't you know it didn't exist 70 years ago? stupid women. 

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