06/04/2015 09:17 am ET | Updated Jun 04, 2015

Sexist Wet Seal T-Shirt Tells Women They Can't Be Pretty And Smart At The Same Time

Quick reminder: Women can't be beautiful and smart. At least according to this Wet Seal t-shirt.

HuffPost Women reader Misty Russo stumbled upon a (horribly) sexist t-shirt at a Wet Seal store in Sugar Land, Texas on June 2. The shirt reads: "Too pretty to do homework."

Below is the image of the shirt Russo sent to HuffPost Women:


"My initial reaction was that of pure disgust... and disbelief. I immediately thought of a certain young, impressionable 12-year-old girl that I am a role model to, and how I would never allow her or a (future) daughter of mine to wear something like that," Russo told The Huffington Post.

"My second thought was that of young girls around the world like Malala Yousafzai who have risked it all just to have a chance at education," she said, adding, "This type of message scoffs in the face of all the adversity women have faced not only here but internationally when it comes to seeking an education."

According to their website, Wet Seal's mission is to "use the power of fashion and fun to help our girl express her individuality and fit in -- while standing out." The shirt in question implies using intellect is not a way to stand out.

honework wet seal

The shirt is being sold on Wet Seal's website for $19.90.

This particular t-shirt is almost an exact replica of a shirt that caused uproar in 2011. At the time, a photo of a JCPenny shirt that read, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me," went viral, and was subsequently pulled from shelves.

Associate professor of sociology at Occidental College, Lisa Wade, told HuffPost in December that these types of messages have a lasting effect on young kids. “They learn their gender identities are very relevant and they learn that there’s a lot of very complicated rules about how to be a girl or a boy, and they’re at that stage of life where they’re trying to learn the rules,” she said.

"Young girls do learn that what they look like is very, very important and that does have impact in what they value and what kind of decisions they make and who they think they are," Wade added. "Little girls are constantly told how pretty they are, and they learn very quickly that being pretty is important." Possibly even more important than being smart.

The Huffington Post reached out to Wet Seal for comment, but did not receive a reply at the time of publication.


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  • 2 If men hate the sight of you, tell them to kindly step off.
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  • 3 "Gap-osis:" the most offensive way to say "perhaps you should visit a tailor."
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  • 4 Um, actually it is -- and a perfectly desirable one at that.
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  • 5 Because every woman wants to fix "flaws almost invisible to the ordinary eye." Nightmares.
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  • 6 We've already ordered these for the office so we can stay warm all day (while we exercise our intellect).
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  • 7 Take note ladies, use the wrong deodorant and you will be alone forever.
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  • 8 Has your partner refused to kiss you lately? Buy Tangee lipstick! Or dump her/him.
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  • 9 We think dishpan hands should be a source of pride. It means that you wash your hands...
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  • 10 Well, this one isn't going for any subtlety.
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  • 11 Thankfully, we aren't being told that Lysol is an effective form of contraception anymore.
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    To read more about this dangerous trend head over to Mother Jones.