'Happy Girls Are The Prettiest' - Would You Put Your Daughter In This Next Top?

30 September 2015

Happy girls are the prettiest

A mental health charity has criticised Next for selling a t-shirt for girls which bears the slogan 'Happy girls are the prettiest'.

The Metro reports:

Next has come under fire for selling a long-sleeved T-shirt proclaiming ‘Happy girls are the prettiest’, targeted at girls aged between three and 16.

The quote is a shortened version of a famous comment by Audrey Hepburn. ‘I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong,’ she said. ‘I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.’

I'm no fan of slogan clothing for kids at the best of times - as the mum of both sons and daughters, I'm bored of the predictable, sexist, gender-stereotypical nonsense that adorns t-shirts, tops and - worst of all - baby clothes. And while I see the sentiment behind this top and the fact that, presumably, its designers were going for an inspirational message rather than the bog-standard beauty aesthetic rubbish that many retailers splash across tops for girls, I still think this misses the mark.

I'm not sure I agree that this slogan puts pressure on girls and young adults with mental health issues, however. My issue with the top is a more general disappointment that in 2015 we're still wheeling out clothes for kids with slogans that we should have outgrown by now. The world has moved on, and its time kids' clothing retailers caught up with that.

And can you imagine a top for boys that said 'Happy boys are the most handsome'? How dispiriting that we're emblazoning tops for girls with slogans that prioritise prettiness as the ultimate prize.

The social media team for Next took to Twitter to share this statement:

"So sorry for any offense caused, we are working on making our ranges as inclusive as possible and avoiding gender stereotyping. We will definitely feed your concerns about this particular style back to the teams."

Good on Next for responding swiftly, and let's hope this inspires their design team to come up with some gender-neutral tops that kids can wear with pride.

What's your view on this story? Do you think 'happy girls are the prettiest' is an inappropriate slogan for a top for girls aged between three and 16 years old? Or would you happily put your daughter in this top? Come and join the debate over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parents

4 comments

  • xenophon
    Why have you an issue with it not being gender-neutral? What is your agenda there? What a boring and not to mention frightening world if boys and girls were forced to go around in the same clothes, like clones, vetted by the gender-neutral police. Shudders at the thought of the gender-neutral fascists emerging. The only issue of concern the mental health charity had is that it suggests only pretty girls can be happy not that it wasn't, horror of horrors, gender-neutral
  • xsx23
    Asda were selling tops with this slogan earlier in the year as my daughter got given one as a birthday gift! Why not a problem then?
  • Rachyx
    This world has more to worry about than a slogan on clothes surely? Its not as if it even says something offensive. I also agree with comment above. Whats the big ordeal with gender neutral? At least its a positive slogan rather than "miserable girls look ugly" as thats a negative stance rather than a positive view.
  • Homer1999
    Wow you got to write something negative - my comments never get posted :( - I fully agree with your comments btw x
    Why have you an issue with it not being gender-neutral? What is your agenda there? What a boring and not to mention frightening world if boys and girls were forced to go around in the same clothes, like clones, vetted by the gender-neutral police. Shudders at the thought of the gender-neutral fascists emerging. The only issue of concern the mental health charity had is that it suggests only pretty girls can be happy not that it wasn't, horror of horrors, gender-neutral

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