The latest kids’ clothing ad to come under fire is from UKGap, and customers have more than one reason to be pissed.
Firstly, the advert — sent to U.K. customers in a promo email — features a T-shirt with an image of Albert Einstein… except it’s misspelled “Einstien.” Oops. Majorly embarrassing and kind of unforgivable considering how many people would have eyeballed the design before it made it off the production line.
But what’s got people riled up even more isn’t a particular item of clothing — it’s the fact that the labels given to the girl and boy models in the ad pretty much pander to gender stereotypes we just shouldn’t be seeing in 2016, at least not from media-savvy companies that know what their customers want.
While the little boy (in the Einstein fail) is captioned “the little scholar,” the little girl by his side is described as “the social butterfly.”
And people ain’t happy.
— Andrew & Sabrina (@PsychScientists) July 31, 2016
The company has been flooded with complaints on social media, with customers expressing their anger and disappointment at the “class A sexist stereotyping.”
It wasn’t long before disgruntled shoppers were scouring Gap’s website for other potentially offensive kids’ tees, such as this one:
— Andrew & Sabrina (@PsychScientists) August 1, 2016
Although the girls’ collection does feature a tee with the word “Genius” on it, presumably because liking to party and being super smart are not mutually exclusive.
Of course, many little girls are social butterflies. But it’s the fact that Gap chose that particular label for girls alongside a far more worthy, intelligent label for boys to promote its kids’ clothing ranges that is making folks mad. Little boys can be social butterflies too, right? And damn right little girls can be literary scholars. So how about clothing companies accept all that, look beyond outdated gender stereotypes and provide a range of clothing for boys and girls that covers all bases? Then they would be making the news for all the right reasons.
It was only a few months ago that another Gap kids advert caused an almighty ruckus, only that time it was because the ad was seen by some to send a racist message. Gap was quick to apologize and remove the ad in question, but this time round, they haven’t yet responded to the outcry. Let’s hope they at least fix the spelling mistake, because all literary scholars know how to spell Einstein.
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