Hi loves. I took my daughters shopping for back-to-school clothes this week. And I dunno. Just. *SIGH*
I keep talking myself down off the Ledge of Anger, reminding myself how there are so many pissy things going on right now. No wonder I’m on edge. Fucking terrorists. Fucking people getting shot by cops, and cops getting shot, and instead of extending fucking heartfelt sympathy like a human being, most people are screaming like GD idiots about how people basically deserve to die. Also, this presidential election is about to give me a stroke, and I’m not even into politics. So I keep telling myself to back away from the pissiness/crazy/ranty place that these kids T-shirts are taking me. I am probably just having a bad reaction because the world is set to FUBAR and the vibes are getting to me.
But I have to show you these shirts. You know, the ones with the writing on them. Basically, they seem like a warning label of sorts on your kid. Or at least a subliminal message. But harmless right? Nobody reads shit on shirts.
Here are some of the options I saw while shopping with my daughters.
Technically, they are not wrong. Love is really important.
OK, except this one is technically incorrect.
Stars can shine without love. They are powered by nuclear fusion, not emotional connection.
Kind of taken aback by the heavy themes in the girls’ department, I sneaked over to the boys’ department. Couldn’t find a single shirt over there that said “love” or had hearts. Did find one with factual science tho:
Fascinated with the unfamiliar (I have three girls and no boys), I spent some time there. Although love seems of little importance over there, some of the shirts are fucking fantastic.
I thought it would be freaking awesome to get my kid a WOMAN OF THE PEOPLE shirt, but could not find one. FUTURE LEGEND was pretty great too, but not super applicable since it has a football and my kid doesn’t play that sport. I grabbed SCORING MACHINE and SAIL THE SEVEN SEAS. Then headed back to the girls’ section, looking for shirts that endorsed achievement, adventure, or non relationship oriented qualities. They kinda had some.
But mostly there were zounds shirts like this.
I handed SAIL THE SEVEN SEAS and SCORING MACHINE, along with some others, to my seven year old to try on. I’d done this when my girls were toddlers – I DO MY OWN STUNTS from the boys’ section over DADDY’S GIRL from the girls’. They’d worn them no problem.
Seven year old wouldn’t even try them on. She cringed, shaking her head. Doing my best Sociologist in the field style interview, I asked her what she didn’t like about the shirts. She couldn’t say. Just. Ew.
I thought about handing her the BE A BEAST shirt, just for laughs, but stopped short. Being called a beast on a shirt might get a pretty negative reaction from… well, everyone. Would she get as much flak as a boy wearing a CUTIE shirt? Thinking about it is hella depressing. Boys are cute. They should be allowed be identified as such. Especially if girls can hardly find a shirt that doesn’t label them cute.
I keep telling myself this is probably nothing to get bent out of shape. Grappling with gender identity is what kids do, and probably most of them just want to blend in with their peers. Having a mom who goes gender vigilante nuts and makes you wear a BE A BEAST shirt is probably more emotionally damaging than a ton of shirts with PRETTY on them. I need to settle the hell down. Plus, things are getting better. We have a woman presidential nominee, for cripes sake. Those stupid shirts probably don’t mean shit.
PS: As a slight aside, my oldest kid has a shirt she LOVES that says:
But the stylized writing makes me misread it as FUCK FLOWERS every time I see it. Every time, I am momentarily horrified. Then I spend a second wondering if it’s an ‘on purpose’ tweak of the kerning. Then I kind of smile and think, Yeah. Fuck flowers, man. Fuck. them. all.