BY KAYLA LOKEINSKY
“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.” This is the description that runs under a shirt on the J.C. Penney website, which reads, in pink bubble letters, “I’m too pretty to do my homework, so my brother had to do it for me.” This brand of shirts by David & Goliath not only undermines female intelligence, but also has sexist undertones insinuating that girls don’t have to be smart as long as they’re pretty. Both boys and girls’ shirts have recently begun to mock the intelligence of both genders.
Recently, the internet was up in arms over the David & Goliath t-shirt brand consisting of shirts that adorned slogans like, “I’m to pretty to do math,” and “Future Trophy Wife.” These shirts, which were marketed towards tween girls, look cute with their bright bubble letters and sparkles. However, their insinuation that girls are meant to be pretty, and don’t need to be smart is degrading and does not by any means tell the true facts in regards to the female intelligence.
According to a study done by Dr. Michael Thompson, a psychologist who specializes in child development, girls outperform boys in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school. Girls are excelling in all academic fields, including mathematics and science, which were once male-dominated fields. Apparently David & Goliath didn’t get the memo, since they print on their shirts that pre-teen girls are “To pretty to do math” and they should be “Future Trophy Wives.”
However, David & Goliath are not the only culprits in the case of gender stereotyping, and girls are not the only victims. Gender stereotyping has become commonplace in the world of pre-teen fashion, among both males and females. While shirts are now being made for young girls emphasizing beauty over brains, males are now facing the same gender bias. Shirts that are sold at JC Penney emphasize that it’s not cool to be smart. Graphic tees that read “Big Head, Small Brain” and “I’m right 98% of the time, who cares about the other 3%” are displayed on the department store’s website.
According to Thompson, boys are falling behind their female counterparts in the field of academics because they are taught, “being smart is no longer cool.” Just like girls are being told that it’s ok to not be intelligent, as long as they’re pretty. If shirts like this continue to be sold, then the standards for intelligence for both boys and girls will decline. Girls will begin to feel that they don’t have to try in school as long as they have looks to lean on, and boys will start to goof off in class and become more concerned about looking cool then getting good grades.