Not a lot of things “ruffle my feathers.” I like to think of myself as a calm and
zen (sarcastic) human being. Except when you try and stifle someone else’s creativity or try and tell them their dreams are “silly” or “unattainable.” Then steam comes out of my ears and it is ON.
Which is why I’m slighting mortified and, quite frankly, sad, that Old Navy has taken the role of the 1950’s Dad at the dinner table screaming and shaking his fists because his only daughter just shared that she didn’t want to get married, but instead would be enrolling in art school.
Here is the shirt Old Navy actually produced … for TODDLERS.
And here is my response:
I have wanted to be a writer since I was a really little. And :::muffles::: years later, it has been a really long and bumpy road for me to get there. I’ve had a lot of people along the way tell me it just wouldn’t happen for me. But I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the love and support of my family and friends over the years.
So for Old Navy to stifle the potential dreams of toddlers by saying, “you want to be a WHAT?! :::rich person cocky laugh::: No no, child … president looks much better on you :::smokes cigar:::.” My God, I don’t have words. What’s next, you’re going to produce a shirt in the spring that says, “Santa is real! (NOT!).”
The greatest thing about being a kid is that any career is within reach. One day you want to be an artist, the next day you want to be a veterinarian. I remember for a VERY hot second that I wanted to be an actress (yikes). Whatever a child wants to be or is interested in, we should we encouraging that healthy exploration, NOT stifling it.
I personally will be boycotting Old Navy for a while until a genuine apology is produced. And if you, my fellow fantastic artists (who don’t just include painters but writers, editors, designers, people in the tech industry, singers, actors, etc.) or enraged parents who want their children to have the opportunity to be whatever the hell they want, would like to join me, well, let’s do this.
I’m going to leave Old Navy with this one question, though: when you had the big idea of starting a fashion brand that makes affordable clothes for the entire family … who helped you get there?
*I linked Old Navy to their Twitter handle so you can express your artistic freedom and share your dismay over that horrific design if you would like.