Shaking my head

As we were heading out the door to celebrate the 4th of July in Red Bluff with my in-laws, the girls and I ran over to Old Navy to pick up a few patriotic shirts. In previous years, Old Navy has always had fun, festive and affordable shirts and so I assumed it would be a quick “run in, run out” errand.

Besides being immediately disappointed in the colors of most of the “patriotic” apparel (baby blue, Caribbean blue, creme and orange based red are NOT our countries colors  – they are navy blue, a dark red and white)…I was very disturbed by the verbiage printed boldly on the front of these shirts.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of….Boys.”  SAY WHAT??? There are so many things wrong with this proclamation being plastered on the front of a patriotic tank top being sold to girls and young ladies (at least I am assuming that is their target audience – I can’t imagine married women my age wearing such a slogan?!)

  • First why are we degrading our Declaration of Independence, written by some of the most educated, eloquent and brilliant men of all time by replacing the words “pursuit of happiness” to a trivial “pursuit of boys”? There is nothing even slightly amusing about that. It is offensive.
  • Secondly even if someone thinks I need to lighten up and that it is just a harmless play on words – tell me WHY we want to suggest  to girls that the “pursuit of boys” is something that is worthwhile, valauble or honorable?  It is certainly not what I want my daughters pursuing during their youth and season of singleness.  I want them to pursue….godliness, righteousness, charity, good works,education, wisdom, noble character, health, fitness, skills, maturity, selflessness and the list goes on! (and pursuing boys is not anywhere on the list – is it on yours for your daughters?)
  • In addition what girl do you know who honestly takes joy in pursuing versus being pursued?  Despite the boy crazy culture teenage girls live in with all its crassness, aggressive behavior and role reversals – I know that in their heart of hearts they want to be pursued, to be desired and to be sought out by a gentleman who respects, honors and treats them like a princess.  It is just the way the Lord made women.  Yet, we are standing by letting the current culture continue to shape girls attitudes and actions towards boys resulting in a host of unhappiness and unfulfillment of their God given desires.
  • Lastly – Why would anyone want their girls, teens or young ladies wear such a message on their chests?  Doesn’t it seem a bit pathetic? shallow? desperate? degrading?

The next shirt I picked up said –Hot as a firecracker”  Don’t even get me started on how anyone would allow their minor daughter to wear such a statement.  Shaking my head, we left the store.


Filed under My "take", Raising Girls, Uncategorized

27 responses to “Shaking my head

  1. Geigy Boek

    Score one for Beth!!! Way to put it…and then some:)

  2. Jen

    Hi Beth,

    I cannot believe you are writing this…I just had a very similar conversation with my girlfriend last week. I, too, left ON in disgust after seeing this year’s offerings. The other one that really ticked me off was “Proud to Be an American,” where the PROUD TO BE ME in that statement was highlighted a different color than the rest of the letters. I’m all for high self esteem, but proclaiming that to the world on a Fourth of July shirt…no way!

    While I am much less conservative than you in many areas, your opinions always give me pause and make me think about things in a different way than I may have, and I truly enjoy reading them. On this matter, though, I am in complete agreement with you. ON has made a complete mockery, in my opinion, of our nation and its birthday. I left the store in disgust and drove to the mall to Children’s Place to get shirts.

  3. You go Beth!
    When I find something like those words on the T-shirts, I will contact the company. Sometimes their response is good and sometimes they don’t care what I think. Take Carl’s Jr, when I contacted them about their vulgar commercials, they said I was not in their demographics. It was men, 18-35. So they were not real interested in me or my comments. When I emailed them back, I received the exact same email back. I keep writing and boycotting. I have not set foot into a Carl jr or Hardees (I now live in Tennessee) in 8 years or so.
    Companies need to hear from us.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly. My mom makes lots of items for my 7 and 9 year old girls because it is so hard to find appropriate clothes, especially for the 9 year old who wears a 10/12 size.

    I’d add to the list of clothing grievances the following, which I’ve had to remind my mother-in-law (who LOVES to spend money on clothes) are not allowed in our house:

    * any clothes with words on the rear end
    * two piece bathing suits for little girls
    * skimpy crop tops
    * see-through tops
    * skirts, dresses, or shorts that barely cover the rear end
    * shirts with provocative single words like, “sexy,” “hottie,” “easy,” and “kitten” (as in SEX kitten)

    And yes, I’ve seen shirts and shorts with ALL those words printed on them!

    And people wonder why girls are growing up with a lack of self-esteem and self-worth?

  5. Pam

    Thank YOU for standing up and being a mother. Your words blessed this grandmother to tears.

    Does anyone have a link to that retail store so we can complain?

  6. Pam

    Someone needs to forward this to the retail store’s corporate offices.

  7. Kathy

    I could not agree more……

  8. Melinda Smith

    Amen to all of the above!

  9. tracy rodriguez

    You go girl! I took the liberty to find the email link to send feedback to ON.

    I say you should send this blog directly to the customer service dept. It is well written and gets the point across! Good luck and update us if you do in fact send feedback, and get a response back from the company. Tracy

  10. theresa

    Beth, when I first opened this I skimmed what you wrote. I miss understood. I thought you bought shirts that said “life, liberty and the pursuit of boys”, because your family is looking to adopt “boys”. I thought oh that’s cute. But, then I re-read and realized you were upset. I agree with what everyone has said. I want to know what we are going to do about this??? When I shop at Khol’s I noticed once you jump up to the size 7 clothing it changes into these “adult” looking clothes. It’s really difficult to find “cute” clothing for my 6yr old. I really don’t think a little girl should wear shorts with the word “hot” across the bum. Thanks for bringing this up, Beth. Maybe we can all write to different stores and try to make some change???
    Theresa (Momonthegox4)

  11. Lisa Klaassen

    I sooooooo totally agree!! Thank you for putting this in writing in such a well-stated way. I gathered my two daughters (ages 9 & 11) and read this word-for-word to them. They thanked me — sincerely! — and added the word “disgusting” during your last point. Hopefully retailers will get the hint if enough of us take a stand. As a side note, I especially appreciated your list of what you DO want your daughters to pursue — a great reminder to us all.

  12. Another great post Beth!!

    I agree with everything you said and how you feel for that matter!

    “HAVE SOME SELF RESPECT…PEOPLE…” (to today’s culture)!!


  13. Cindy Henderson

    I so agree! while visiting my sister in FL (not a fun visit by the way, she is having problems and is depressed) I told my mom that we would go to Old Navy because they always had cute, inexpensive t-shirts for the 4th. I thought we would all dress alike and get out of the house for something fun. Imagine how I felt when we saw the selection of shirts!
    I will use the link to send my comments to Old Navy.

  14. Cheryl

    I would send your comments to ON. If they don’t hear from their customers , they will think that these type of t-shirts are just fine to sell.

    I miss the traditional 4th of July ON shirts.

  15. Krystal-momofautism

    Beth – I am 25 and I hate these shirts and shorts!!
    I cannot understand how someone would want to wear these things or even less allow their daughters to wear them! I am so careful about the clothes I buy my daughter. She is going to be 7 but she is so skinny that I am thankful she still fits into some 5T and 6 yr old clothes. The stuff for 7 year olds is scary!!! The skirts are getting skimpier, the shirts leave too much information or are risque, the shorts can barely even be considered shorts!!! And do not even get me started on the shoes!!! Trying to find a cute simple pair of sandals with NO heels is almost impossible.

    My husband has bought me about 2 shorts from Target for the 4th – one said Star on the rear (the A was a star) and the other was a plane navy blue short and on the waist it said USA (this was the most tastelful of the two) and the shocker of it! They were so short I cannot even wear them outside of the house!!! I use them as my cleaning day shorts so I do not get any on my other shorts but that’s about it (I’m not about to let clothes go to waste, we have to salvage everything we get!) But would I ever wear something like this in public?!? No – my hubby got them more as a joke because I am always complaining about the size of my rear and he thought it would be funny to show me how really short things were getting. He is a loving man but with a big thing for jokes!!

  16. Thanks for the link – I sent a note to Old Navy and suggested they change their name. The 4th is for respecting our country, and that is the way I will keep it in my home.
    Thanks, Beth for speaking up!
    Renette Christensen

  17. I saw this same shirt the other day and had the same reaction, thank you for your post, I am going to email ON now. . .

  18. P.S. I hope you don’t mind, I took the “liberty” of linking to your blog from mine about this post.

  19. Donna Larson

    I totally agree! I kept going to ON and asking when they were getting their $5 Flag shirts and they never knew. When we went to Montana the end of June I found them there! I have 4 little boys so I didn’t really look much at the girls shirts but I did see the ones mentioned at the CA stores but only the “Proud to be A(ME)RICAN one in MT. I thought about my friends that have all girls and I know they would never put those on their girls either (and they have teenagers too)! I was really disappointed until I found the ones in MT. They had the American Flag on it with the name OLD NAVY 2008 below it. They were in the traditional colors of RED, WHITE, and navy BLUE. I also got a grey one because I wanted my boys each in a different color. To think that they are targeting the CA customers this way just adds another reason to move back to the wholesome living I grew up with in MT. I certainly don’t want some girl “pursuing” my boys. I want them to grow up to be gentlemen and treat girls with the respect they deserve! I am going to write ON next and let them know that they really missed the boat this year. When I got back with my “American” shirts all my friends were mad that they weren’t offered the same thing here.
    Thanks, Beth for making me take a stand for our country!
    Donna Larson

  20. Yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous. On several levels…all of which you mentioned. I think the Old Navy designers/powers-that-be/PR people gave chose marketing and sales over taste on this one. Too bad.

  21. I haven’t been in Old Navy for a while though, so I haven’t seen those shirts.

    I totally agree with everything you posted above.
    I would never let my girls wear a shirt that degrades our country and my girls.

    I drove around for 2 hours looking for Patriotic clothing for my girls.

  22. You nailed it! All these kind of shirts are ridiculous but coupled with Independence Day, it’s even weirder!

    Thanks for not being quiet about it!

    (here from mom4life!)

  23. amy

    couldn’t agree more. I would never let my daughter wear that.
    Thanks for spreading the word.

    (here from mom4life)

  24. I don’t have daughters, but I wouldn’t want any of my 5 sons dating a girl that would wear such a degrading shirt.

    I’m totally on board with what girls should be devoting themselves to. As for my boys, I’m not totally sure they would “all” get it, but we are raising them to love the Lord and be respectful to girls (among other things). Also praying that when it does come time to find a wife, they will seek Him to find her.

  25. I agree completely! As a mother of two preteen girls we are always battling the clothes dilemna. It’s either the comments relating risky sexual behavior or shirts that tell everyone that my girls are spoiled and princesses. Ick!

    If you are looking for good holiday attire, try Target. They had shirts for $5! They were very patriotic.

  26. misty

    thanks so much for standing up against this! that brought tears to my eyes as i have to little girls that i worry about growing up in this culture. it is hard to teach how to be in the world but not of it. your list of all the things girls should pursue was right on and encouraging that we Christian moms are not alone. it feels that way at times even in the church sadly. i am encouraged by all the other replies being disappointed in the way clothing has become. it gives me hope that my girls will have friends that think, dress, and pursue the same things they do (or at least i hope and pray they do.)

  27. Lisa

    Thank you so much for taking a stand for moms and dads everywhere. I am the mom of two precious little boys and I take offense to this. My prayer for them is that they meet Godly ladies and get married for them. I pray that God gives them the strength to save themselves for marriage. I want them to be pure and holy. The last thing I want is for them to be “pursued.” I don’t know why any parent would allow their child to wear something like that. It’s disgusting!

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