A line of toddler Old Navy T-shirts that suggest becoming an artist isn’t one of the best career choices going today has spawned enough online outrage for the Old Navy folks to discontinue sales of the offending apparel. The T-shirts were meant as quips with the message “Young Aspiring Artist” on the front of the shirt, but “Artist” is crossed off with a variety of other careers, like “astronaut” and “president” written as a replacement.
According to HNGN News on December 31, the international retailer didn’t waste any time taking down the T-shirts from their website once the reprimands shot fast and furious via the social media sites. Old Navy cooked its own goose with these shirts as people took to the social media to jog the memory of the Old Navy folks about the artists they use to design their apparel and the artists they hire to advertise Old Navy’s goods.
Mashable reports that the backlash online came after a mother and a professional artist named Kelly McKernan posted a photo on Facebook of two Old Navy toddler shirts on Tuesday. Her Facebook caption she wrote “Dear Old Navy” and included:
“This is deeply disappointing. As a mother and a career artist, I’m astounded that a company as large and influential as you are could approve of a design that encourages toddlers to stifle their creativity.”
Without artists, their line of clothes would be bland at best and they wouldn’t have all these catchy commercials selling their wares in a creative fashion. Parents have aspirations for their kids from the minute they are born, with little doctors and lawyers assigned to newborns through the dreams of proud mamas and papas everywhere. And no, you don’t usually hear these proud new parents say that their son or daughter will grow up to be an aspiring artist and this was probably where Old Navy was going with this.
Still as those babies grow up, their happiness is what counts and if aspiring artist is what that child wants to be, then many a proud parent will back them. It was a very unfortunate attempt at playing with the thoughts of new parents, but this isn’t the first time Old Navy has pushed the envelope a little too far with their clothing offerings. Last year Old Navy introduced “boyfriend jeans” for toddlers, creating another backlash about the message they were assigning to such young girls.
Old Navy said they never intentionally set out to offend anyone and if they have, they are sorry. They also took the shirts down from their website which showed they meant what they said!