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Are ‘Teenagers Do It Better T-Shirts Sending the Wrong Message? Um, Of Course.

American Apparel

That may well be, but do they have to announce it on their chests?

I don’t like those baby onesies that say things like, “Boob Man” and “I Don’t Make Mistakes, I Date Them.” I’m all for cute little jokes on t-shirts for kids, but the ones that sport inside, very adult messages just feel icky to me when they’re worn by someone too young to understand, or too immature to realize the full implications.

Hence a new t-shirt by American Apparel, which says “Teenagers Do it Better.”

According to American Apparel and Electric Youth Magateen, it’s meant to celebrate “the magnificent vitality, energy and power of young male adulthood.”

Yup. That’s exactly what I took away from it. Oh, wait.

Let’s get real. When a teen throws on this t-shirt in the morning and wears it to school, will his or her friends (while they say it’s promoting “male vitality,” a scantily clad model in a suggestive pose is displaying it in one of their ads, so it’s clearly aimed at girls, too) give a pat on the back to their buddy for empowering the vitality and brains of their generation? Or will they chuckle like Beavis and Butthead at the not-so-underlying immature message laced with sexual innuendo?

It’s not like teens need a shirt with this message to think about sex; they’ll do that all on their own, of course. But for a reputable company to put this out there just smacks of a stunt, and it’s one I think is entirely unnecessary and sets back any kind of real movement for today’s youth to take some strides forward in terms of their actual vitality, power and intelligence.

Nice work, American Apparel.

What do you think of the t-shirts?

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