Riding the bus home yesterday, I noticed a girl on the sidewalk wearing the following shirt:
I’m not surprised that this t-shirt exists as there are many, many worse shirts out there, but it was disheartening to me nonetheless so let’s unpack it, shall we?
- For the purposes of the rest of this post, let’s agree on Merriam-Webster’s definition of psycho:
a person who is mentally ill and often dangerous or violent
- Is being “cute but psycho” now something to be proud of, so much so that we have to wear it on shirts akin to wearing an American flag on a shirt to show our patriotism?
- Actually, I can’t decide whether this shirt serves more as a prideful declaration of one’s “psycho” qualities (see: Marilyn Monroe’s infamously invoked “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”) or a warning to others.
- So how about the hypocritical mental illness implications of this shirt? Being psychotic is acceptable as long as you’re “cute”? Maybe in order to make that assumption, the shirt would have to say PSYCHO BUT CUTE where physical attractiveness is an afterthought and/or a justification for one’s mental illness rather than the other way around.
- It is obvious to me (but maybe not others) where this tagline comes from: the assumption – or observation, some may claim – that physically attractive girls are inherently mentally insane. This is offensive on so many levels that I may come back at a later date to dissect this bullet point alone.
- I know this post could be taken as some girl-against-girl hate or me trying to tell other women what is appropriate to wear, but girl on the sidewalk, you’re better than that shirt!
After taking note in my phone to deconstruct this girl’s shirt, a man offered his seat to a non-elderly and able woman and three other men proceeded to loudly gawk at an attractive female exiting the bus.
I’m never taking public transportation again (..except tonight to attend the Flannel Takeover).