Girls 1; Abercrombie 0
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.