Girls 1; Abercrombie 0

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Friday, February 24, 2006; 6:43 AM

Sometimes, we have to rely on the teens to act like grown-ups. A group of Pennsylvania girls, fed up with Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts with demeaning slogans, staged a "girlcott" last fall, asking girls around the country not to wear with sayings such as "Who needs brains when you have these," or "I had a nightmare I was a brunette." In a shining example of girl power, Abercrombie agreed to stop selling the T-shirts.

The girls, members of a group called the Allegheny County Girls as Grantmakers, even got a chance to meet with the retailer so they could pitch their own T-shirt designs to company executives and managers.

Now Abercrombie has released a new line of T-shirts with encouraging slogans, like "Brunettes have brains" and "Blonde with a brain." While the shirts are not what the girls pitched, they are a victory, grantmakers say.

"It's a major, major accomplishment," one 16-year-old told the St. Petersburg Times.

And perhaps it is, for a company that courts controvery in its quest to stay cool among the young and super-hip. Abercrombie once pulled a line of T-shirts in 2002 after Asian American groups protested they reinforce negative stereotypes, and recalled a racy catalogue in 2003 that bordered on pornography.

Seems like shock appeal just isn't selling like it used to. Am I wrong? Do your daughters wear raunchy T-shirts? Or would they if you allowed it? Send your comments to parenting@washingtonpost.com and I'll post some of your comments next week.

Girls and Violence

A new book by James Garbarino, author of "Lost Boys," examines the link between physical confidence and criminal violence in girls. "See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It" calls for special help for emotionally vulnerable girls to avoid slipping into antisocial behavior.

Garbarino will be online to answer questions about his book on Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m. ET. You can submit a question now for him to answer next week.

Students Call for Banning of Peace Studies Class

As Advanced Placement Expands, Studies Disagree on Its Value

Students Making Peace for One Another


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