On Friday, the brand shared an Instagram photo of a boy model wearing the pink tee, which retails for $25. In less than one hour, the comments section was inflamed with arguments. Some people felt the word “feminist” was a political issue, in light of the gender pay gap, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the Women’s March, a nationwide protest against President Trump, whose statements and policies are often viewed as sexist.
However, some insisted that feminism is solely about equality between the sexes and is a value that should be instilled in all children, and that compared with gender-stereotyped kids’ clothing, the shirt is a positive statement.
“The idea that women should be treated equal to men is not a political issue, it is a human issue,” insisted a commenter. Someone hit back, “The back of his shirt probably reads ‘preaches tolerance, but is close-minded, Trump-Hater, not allowed to play with guns.’ Lol. Hate it when Hollywood, companies use success as a platform to preach!!”
Someone else retorted, “Yes! As if ‘heartbreaker’ or ‘chick magnet’ are necessarily good things for little boys to aspire to be.” And one person took issue with boys’ wearing the color pink, writing, “Feminist or feminine?”
A representative from J.Crew told Yahoo Lifestyle in a statement, “J.Crew stands for equality, and is for everybody.”
In 2011, the brand found itself in the spotlight after running an ad featuring former creative director Jenna Lyons and her young son Beckett, whose toenails were painted with pink Essie for J.Crew nail polish. “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink,” a quote from Lyons read.
Last year, J.Crew’s sister brand Madewell was called out for featuring a model with natural hair pulled into a bun that many said was “messy” and indicative of an ignorance about styling for women of color.
And this past March, J.Crew stumbled again after introducing a $40 T-shirt with a map of New Mexico that contained geographical errors, and spices and plants that are not native to the state.
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