A Lesson for SEARS: Toddler T-shirts Can Be Funny, Without Being Offensive

A few months ago, there was a big controversy over a girl’s t-shirt sold at JC Penny that read “I’m too pretty to do homework.” After complaints, JC Penny pulled the shirt from the shelves.

Now, another big retailer is under fire for selling even more offensive children’s t-shirts (see tasteless shirt pictured left).

Yesterday, after a call from The New York Daily News, SEARS took a bunch of toddler-sized t-shirts off their online site with sayings like “Don’t Kick Me in the Fallopian Tubes” and “Don’t Kick Me in the Birth Canal”.

But, as of right now, “Hung Like Daddy” and “Nice Girls Don’t Pepper Spray” are still available for purchase.

Why in the world any parent would want to put these shirts on their toddler is beyond me. If anything, having your toddler walk around in a “Hung Like Daddy” t-shirt is not a very good advertisement for your husband (ahem).

But shame on SEARS for even giving parents the option.

I’m not an overly sensitive person— I even created a line of Snooki-inspired onesies yesterday as a joke— but these aren’t even funny. They are in incredibly poor taste, some even condoning violence.

I also think there is a difference between putting your newborn in an offensive onesie for laughs and putting your toddler in an offensive t-shirt.

A baby has no idea what is going on while a toddler has a growing vocabulary and awareness of his environment. While he may not be able to read, he can certainly understand people’e positive or negative reactions to his clothing.

I get that people like to push the envelope but I don’t believe people should put that need on their children.

Children are not platforms for parental shock value.

Plus there are plenty of toddler t-shirts out there that are funny/clever/ironic/etc. without being tasteless, offensive and really— just plain dumb.

Here are fourteen examples of “TASTEFUL (BUT STILL FUNNY) TODDLER T-SHIRTS”.

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  • For Your Slacker Toddler 1 of 14
    For Your Slacker Toddler

    Discovered on 2BHip T-Shirts
  • Automatic Airplane Ice Breaker 2 of 14
    Automatic Airplane Ice Breaker

    Discovered on Urban Baby
  • I will get a new couch in 2025 3 of 14
    I will get a new couch in 2025

    Discovered on Think Geek
  • Standard Alphabet Bastardization 4 of 14
    Standard Alphabet Bastardization

    Discovered on Vicarious Clothing
  • Better than the circus, that’s what I always say 5 of 14
    Better than the circus, that's what I always say

    Discovered on Eggagogo
  • Sadly, this won’t be a joke for long 6 of 14
    Sadly, this won't be a joke for long

    Discovered on Think Geek
  • Toddler Dating Profile 7 of 14
    Toddler Dating Profile

    Discovered on Tots & Giggles
  • For geeks in the making 8 of 14
    For geeks in the making

    Discovered on Vicarious Clothing
  • Kids know who gives them candy 9 of 14
    Kids know who gives them candy

    Discovered on Amazon
  • Certainly a better mantra than the original 10 of 14
    Certainly a better mantra than the original

    Discovered on Skreened
  • When does outside come in HD? 11 of 14
    When does outside come in HD?

    Discovered on Geek Things
  • Grandpa was delicious 12 of 14
    Grandpa was delicious

    Discovered on Vicarious Clothing
  • My daughter will be purchasing this shirt 13 of 14
    My daughter will be purchasing this shirt

    Discovered on Zoeysattic
  • Exactly. 14 of 14
    Exactly.

    Discovered on Tshirt Pusher

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts.
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