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‘Offensive’ Halloween shirt for young girls has moms buzzing

Moms are “disgusted” by a shirt that’s for sale at Bee Tween, a tween clothing boutique on Staten Island. But is it really worth getting this upset about?

Remember the old “boo bees” joke? This is how you tell it:

First, it requires you to be under the age of 10 and just learning which words will make your parents mad when you say them, like “poo,” “damn” and “hell.” Then you approach one of your classmates and, making sure the teacher isn’t listening, you whisper, “What did the ghost say to the bee?” When your classmate says, “What?” you choke out the punchline: “Boo bee!” And then the two of you laugh and laugh because boobs and butts and farts and toilets are hilarious.

More: Kids learn about the F-word from celebrities in eye-opening video

Someone put that joke on a shirt, and now that shirt is available to tweens and adults alike for $50 at a Staten Island boutique called Bee Tween. And while most people might read that sentence and shrug and roll their eyes, other people are horrified. Here’s the shirt:

Image: Bee Tween

Oh, sweet sassy molassey!

So let’s talk about this shirt for a second. It looks comfy, long sleeves, orange, perfect for Halloween. Also, there are two bees in ghost outfits situated right on the wearer’s chest, where, if they have them, their boobees are. Or, as another outlet hilariously described it with an almost scandalized sterility, “two bees dressed in ghost costumes — with their exposed stingers seeming to simulate nipples.” At first the owner of the shop, Janine Detore, who designed the shirt along with her 19-year-old daughter, said the shirt was just a fun thing for Halloween and explained the pun in painstaking detail, probably thinking that people just didn’t get the joke:

“The ‘boo’ stands for the costume — they’re ghosts. The ‘bees’ not only stands for actual bees, but we call our clients bees because they are bee-tween, just turning into a teenager, and up.”


Is it a shirt that’s appropriate for kids? That’s relative, but let’s go with no, not really. And since the boutique markets its goods for “‘in between’ girls… in adolescence,” that’s who would be looking to buy the shirt, most likely, though it’s worth mentioning that it’s available for adults too. Now, since then, Detore has said that 10 percent of the profits will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which kind of just feels like she saw that people were mad, so she changed her tune so that people who are “outraged” look like total jerks who don’t care about breast cancer.

But she didn’t have to do that.

Because if you look at the above shirt, and it inspires the kind of outrage — nay, disgust — that inspires you to say these actual words out loud, as one mother did…

“It’s fine if some adult bimbo wants to wear it — but a young impressionable girl? It’s insulting as a woman and a mother. We don’t need clothing like that out there influencing impressionable young minds.”

…then you already look like a huge boob.

More: Florida parents up in arms about ‘Lifeboat Test’ for sixth-graders

As far as tween shirts go, this one is pretty tame. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and confidence to wear, since everyone will be staring at your chest. Most tweens we know would rather crawl into a moderately sized hole than offer themselves up to that kind of scrutiny. Plus, unless your tween has a job and limitless autonomy, they aren’t going to be making a trip to Bee Tween to purchase this thing without your permission. Assuming your 14-year-old does have 50 bucks to spare and lives in Staten Island, if they come home with this thing, you can always just throw it out. You’re still the adult, you know. If you know, deep down in your bosom, that you don’t want your child wearing this, just don’t let them. Problem solved.

More: Dad horrified when school sends 6-year-old daughter home without pants

This is a very expensive, relatively innocuous shirt, available in one tiny boutique on one street in a huge city, that you are in no way required to buy. There’s no need to make melons out of mosquito bites — let’s save our collective outrage for things that are actually worthy of the reaction, OK?

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