Old Navy Doesn’t Want Your Kids to Become Artists

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Mall retail chain Old Navy experienced backlash when photos of offensive t-shirts being sold to toddlers started appearing online. The shirts had displayed a slogan that said “Young Aspiring Artist” with the “artist” part crossed out and replaced with either the word “astronaut” or “president.” Rude.


Buzzfeed reports that the company faced criticism on social media from parents, some of whom are artists themselves. Kelly McKernan, a mother and professional artist, posted a photo of the two shirts on her Facebook. “Dear Old Navy, this is deeply disappointing” she wrote. “As a mother and a career artist, I’m astounded that a company as large and influential as you are could approve of a design that encourages toddlers to stifle their creativity. TODDLERS. I’m horrified at the thought of putting a shirt like this on my own 20 month old daughter. Shame, shame, shame.”

Old Navy responded to Buzzfeed with the following statement:

“At Old Navy we take our responsibility to our customers seriously. We would never intentionally offend anyone, and we are sorry if that has been the case. Our toddler tees come in a variety of designs including tees that feature ballerinas, unicorns, trucks and dinosaurs and include phrases like, “Free Spirit.” They are meant to appeal to a wide range of aspirations. With this particular tee, as a result of customer feedback, we have decided to discontinue the design and will work to remove the item from our stores.”

The shirts have since been removed from their website and replaced with a more benign design that says “Grandma.”

Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via Twitter.



John Adams: “I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, natural history and naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, tapestry, and porcelain.”