Forever 21 T-Shirts for Young Boys Are Raising Concern

July 13th 2016

Taylor Bell

Popular retailer Forever 21 has decided to remove some of its T-shirts for young boys after critics complained the designs contained apparent inappropriate messages for children.

The graphic T-shirts, which were featured on the boys section of Forever 21's website, got slammed for appearing to sexualize young children and perpetuating negative gender stereotypes.

"Forever 21 takes feedback and product concerns very seriously," Forever 21 told ATTN: in an emailed statement. "With regards to the t-shirts in question, after receiving feedback we have taken immediate action to have them removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the products.”

The shirts included the phrases: "Sorry Ladies I only date models," "Hola ladies," "Chicks are all over me," and "Ladies man."

Forever 21 boy t-shirt


Forever 21 boys t-shirt

“It is completely inappropriate for companies to sell those shirts to young boys,” Christia Spears Brown, author of "Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes" told Yahoo Style of the designs, before they were taken down. “Even I am pretty shocked by those, and little shocks me these days."

Forever 21 boy t-shirt

Forever 21 boy t-shirt


Before the T-shirts were removed, Brown also pointed out that the retailer's graphic T-shirts could negatively affect children in the LGBT community and young girls' self-esteem.

“It sexualizes children at an age when they should not be sexualized,” Brown told Yahoo Style. “It reinforces a harmful stereotype about boys that says their value and worth is dependent on how many girls or women they can ‘conquer.’ This has a ripple effect that can harm boys, both gay and straight, as well as girls. It indirectly says that girls are only for sexual attention and not for friendship. Anything that says that only models are worthy of attention is never positive for girls.”

This isn't the first time that Forever 21 has come under fire for its clothing designs.

As ATTN: previously reported, earlier this year Forever 21 received major backlash from people on social media and news publications over a male T-shirt that appeared to reinforce rape culture. The graphic T-shirt which read, "Don't say maybe if you want to say no" seemed to promote the idea that the responsibility of preventing sexual assault in on the victim and not the attacker.

As a result, the retailer apologized and took the shirt down from its website.

[h/t Yahoo]