J.C. Penney Co. has stopped selling a shirt for girls after shoppers expressed outrage over what they called an inappropriate and sexist message.
"I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me," said the message scrawled across the white, long-sleeve shirt, which was intended for girls ages 7 to 16. The shirt was available only through J.C. Penney's website.
Customers immediately criticized J.C. Penney for promoting girls' looks over their brains.
"This shirt is insulting and offensive. Stop perpetuating negative and harmful stereotypes," Twitter user Sarah Enni wrote in a tweet directed at the company.
"Baby Girls, You can be pretty & smart. And if you're neither, that's ok too. Put that on a shirt," Tamara Lunardo tweeted.
After seeing the shirt on the retailer's website Tuesday, New York resident Lauren Todd started a petition on the website Change.org, asking the retailer to pull the shirt.
By Wednesday morning, J.C. Penney had removed the item from its website. The company also sent Todd an email that said, "We agree that the 'Too pretty' T-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale. Our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them."
Kate Coultas, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement that the retail chain "would like to apologize to our customers" and was "taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise."