In the fashion world graphic tees have proved their staying power. My closet is home to quite a few I have collected over the years. But not all are created equally. For this round of Wear This, Not That I decided to compare one of my recent additions from 4AllHumanity against a generic Tee you would find at the fast fashion retailer Forever 21. The criteria for comparison was rather straightforward. A short-sleeved graphic tee in a similar color with a comparable message.
Here’s what I found from Forever21 “I’m actually really smart”. First off, don’t even get me started about the message. It basically says you haven’t taken the time to get to know me and considering it is market to women it further entrenches the idea that we are judged on our looks. But that’s okay, you don’t need to talk to me to know me, or understand my complexities as a human being. It is all written on my shirt. Not a very positive message, if that’s what the company was aiming for. Compared against the positive message of 4AllHumanity “Smart is BeYoutiful” it is downright shameful. I have to agree with Andy Warhol when he said “Beauty is a sign of intelligence.” It is not something that can be judged from outside appearance. So let’s break down these two tees and try to understand them better.
There is nothing smart about buying the shirt from Forever21. In fact, doing so makes you look a little, should I say, uniformed. The price signifies a lack of fair wages, sourcing, and environmental practices. The message continues the stigma that women are judged by outward appearances. Opt for the ethically sourced, fair wage, and low environmental impact “Smart is BeYoutiful” and guess what, you really will be showing off your fashion smarts!
Complete the Look
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
― Albert Einstein