Following in JC Penney's footsteps, everyone's favorite "fashion" retailer, Forever 21, may find itself embroiled in its own T-shirt message controversy. JC Penney's message, which was eventually pulled from shelves, centered on the power of female beauty to preclude one from needing a brain: "I'm too pretty to do my homework so my brother does it for me." Forever 21 put it this way: "I'm allergic to algebra."
I don't understand this trend of selling tongue-in-cheek anti-intellectualism to our young women in the form of jokey, cutesy fashion. It's the garment equivalent to pretending like you don't understand a math problem so the cute boy in class will explain it to you. Plenty of girls like math and are good at it, but when society presents the message that our femininity is related to our mathematical deficit, plenty of girls are going to pretend that they're not. Remember all those cheesy "Girl Power!" emblazoned accessories from the '90s? Let's bring those back.