First JCPenny’s marketed a t-shirt to young girls saying they were “Too Pretty For Homework,” now Forever 21 is getting in on the foolishness with a shirt that says young women are “Allergic to Algebra.”

I guess these companies wanted to send young girls back to school with a positive message: Don’t worry about grades, be cute!

The false choice that women have to be either attractive or smart is not only played out, it’s painfully limiting. Just like our male counterparts, we all know women can be beautiful AND brilliant, but continuing to reenforce the “cute, dumb girl” stereotype to young women is dangerous.

Back in the day women were told to focus more on finding a husband than achieving in school, and today many young girls are discouraged from pursuing math and science and often dumb themselves down to make others feel better.

Thankfully, young women have TONS of role models and examples of women who are not only smart, but amazingly beautiful. However, these latest crop of shirts are just a reminder that instead of letting the media or fashion industry tell our girls what’s valuable, we should be showing them what real women are truly all about.

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