A slogan T–shirt for children that reads ‘Happy Girls Are The Prettiest’ has sparked a gender stereotyping debate. Next has now pulled the long-sleeved top that was available for girls aged 3 to 16 years old from sale after complaints on Twitter about the potential message it was sending to children.
People argued the slogan implies that unhappy girls are unattractive – which could put pressure on those suffering from mental health issues.
Next initially replied to a complaint on 29 September, tweeting back: “We are working on making our ranges as inclusive as possible and avoiding gender stereotyping. We will definitely feed your concerns about this particular style back to the teams.”
However, after a flurry of further complaints, the high street favourite has decided to pull the top from sale.
Meanwhile in America, a group of women who were fed up with slogan T-shirts for young girls that promote “pastimes such as shopping and dancing” have launched Clothes Without Limits – an alternative clothing company that’s attempting to break down gender stereotypes.
“Kids definitely notice when retailers divide clothing so starkly into “boys” vs.“girls” colors, themes, and styles; and that sends a limited message about what they are supposed to like and who they are supposed to be,” their website reads.
By showcasing gender-neutral clothes, they’re attempting to show that children’s have a variety of interests that aren’t limited by gender.
“When girls don’t see dinosaurs, space and other science themes on their clothing, it tells them that things like science and engineering aren’t for them,” founding member Malorie Catchpole said.
We love their ‘Forget Princess – Call Me President’ T-shirt. Aim high girls!