General Question

linguaphile's avatar

How can I complain to two mega-corporate giants and have any impact? (see details)

Asked by linguaphile (14300points) July 25th, 2011

I went to Target today and saw this girl’s t-shirt and was floored. This is a horrible message to give to tweens—that it is ‘awkward’ to be different, unique and creative. There was another one. What kind of message are these people trying to teach our tweens? I feel like these t-shirts indirectly promote bullying of kids that are different.
The t-shirts were created by Disney and are being sold by Target.
If I wanted to have an impact on this, what could I do, other than write letters? Has anyone had a success with standing up to something like this?

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17 Answers

everephebe's avatar

Or lawyers I guess.
You can’t do anything really.

funkdaddy's avatar

Don’t buy the shirts?

atlantis's avatar

Out of stock too. I wonder if they’re actually selling. Aside from the negative image re-enforcement, they’re kinda hideous.
I characteristic Disney quality? Making things look unappealing?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t think that is the intended message. There is a trend among pre-teens right now where using the word ‘awkward’ with a certain vocal inflection is almost like claiming ownership to your uniqueness. It is meant more as a statement of confidence, rather than what you might expect. As if to insult the surrounding parties by insinuating that you have something better than them.

I’m not saying that I support it, I’m just saying that the message may mean something different to you and I than it does to a 14 year old girl.

NightStalker's avatar

This is a conundrum:

Complaints to large corporations and being * heard * requires media attention, yet media attention, even negative, benefits the corporation and helps sell the product.

If you feel better shoot off emails and letters. However sales are ultimately what determines what is on the rack for sale, not customer opinion.

woodcutter's avatar

I think school bullying is more complex than simply looking different ,or clothing choices.

Fly's avatar

I hate to disrupt your disgust with these shirts, but @ANef_is_Enuf is right on target with this one. Believe it or not, it is actually a common joke among tweens and teens and it actually delivers a good message. The “awkward” is used to describe the situation, not the girl and/or sheep. As in, the situation is awkward because the unique girl is surrounded by people completely different from her. There’s even a universally recognized tone that the “awkward” is said in. It’s hard to convey through text, but the shirts actually support being different, it’s just a generation-specific reference.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Fly thanks, you explained that far better than I did.

linguaphile's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf @Fly Somehow I just knew I’d get a different perspective from a Jelly :) In a good way. Okay. Now, that is an interesting twist—I interpreted it as the odd sheep out was feeling awkward for being different and that really is negative, but to call the black sheep awkward for conforming is really a different take on it.
I’ll go cry in a corner. I’m out of touch!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@linguaphile don’t feel too bad, I struggled with trying to explain it at all. lol. Anyhow, what I gather from what I have witnessed of its use is that it is about claiming ownership of your uniqueness, so @Fly nailed it by saying that it is intended to be a positive message.

Definitely sounds backwards, though, I can see why almost anyone would think it was sending the wrong message.

Plus, you clearly meant well. I feel good knowing that I’m raising kids in a world where there are people like you in it looking out for them.

linguaphile's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Thank you for the reassurance! I’ll definitely ask my daughter what she thinks of it when we walk by it again. If nothing else, it’s a good opportunity for a discussion.

@Fly Thank you for the translation! I’ll put my arsenal away for now :)

Thanks everyone for your replies!! Much appreciated!

JessicaRTBH's avatar

Hey I had no clue about that thanks @ANef is Enuf. I learned something new today. I totally thought it was an awful shirt at first poking fun at the odd one out ;)

CheckDavid's avatar


Actually I find those shirts good artistic expressions.

Blueroses's avatar

Absolutely right on @ANef_is_Enuf and @Fly

I spend far too much time with teens (I really need more friends my own age) and the awkWorrrd ♪ sing-songy bit comes up frequently. It isn’t just the claiming of uniqueness, but a tool they use to diffuse genuinely tense situations. Pointing out their own awkwardness before anybody else does. Everybody laughs, especially when accompanied by the awkward turtle gesture. It’s a bit overused but it’s definitely a good thing.

Ladymia69's avatar

Start your own t-shirt company that empowers girls!

linguaphile's avatar

Hey guys…. guess what happened yesterday??

My daughter was talking about a situation and her chin went down, eyes went big, her lips went pursed and out of her 8 year old mouth comes, “AwkwaaaaaaaAAARD.”

She couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stop laughing!!!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@linguaphile oh my gosh, that IS funny!

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