T-shirts are not only wearable art – they are also often a way to let our views be known in a public setting. As a result, t-shirts have often created controversy, because they can depict hurtful meanings, display racist imagery (either accidental or purposeful), send offensive messages and so on. Here is a countdown of the ten most controversial shirts that made headlines in 2010.
10. Eat Less – Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters likes to release a lot of urban sheik clothing, but apparently crossed the line with a shirt that said “Eat Less” that many claimed promoted tasteless dietary messages.
9. Students Support Ta Tas
A student at North Montgomery Community School thought that a humorous breast cancer awareness shirt would be a good way to get the message out and earn money for breast cancer research. Her school and many parents disagreed.
8. Psychopathic Records
In what might be one of the more bizarre shirt stories of the year, a young man bought a shirt in the mall, and then was immediately banned from wearing it in the mall because it was too inappropriate. Perhaps he was believed to be a psychopath based on the text on his shirt.
7. Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Ban
“Dear Kevin. We would first like to send you a warm thank you for your willingness to play at out venue. We are sure you will do a great job. We also regret to inform you that you may not sell memorabilia related to your band because it has a slightly naughty word. See you next week!”
6. Do I Look Legal?
What is most interesting about this Wisconsin based controversial immigration shirt is that none of the people opposing it seemed to have any problem with the fact that children under the age of 18 were wearing this shirt. Expect a spinoff on Law and Order: SVU.
5. Silver Star – MMA
Mixed Martial Arts Fighting has had its share of controversies. When some of its fighters started wearing Nazi based memorabilia from the clothing brand ‘Silver Star’, those controversies became a lot more pronounced. Next time the artists should probably do a little bit more fact checking.
4. No Homo
It’s hard to figure out which is more annoying. The fact that they sold this shirt at all, or the fact that even with the visual evidence, the employees didn’t understand how this was anything more than a Lil Wayne reference.
3. Zombama Brains
One of the few wildly popular controversial shirts on this list, Zombama was an interesting design. Both Obama supporters approved of the design, as did Obama opponents, and yet many people that see the design are unsure whether it is for or against the sitting president. This is one of those “it’s all what you make of it” designs that will always be controversial, but still probably fairly popular.
2. Annie Hollywood – Blood is the New Black
One shirt sparked considerable controversy when feminists got the impression that it depicted an image of a woman that was gagged and beaten. It was part of a collection that many believed promoted rape and abuse.
1. The White Tee
Some people really dislike designs on white t-shirts. It is believed that they either get dirty or fade too easily, because apparently a lot of people spill ketchup on themselves every day and want a shirt that will hide their slobbery. At Dubuque Hempstead High School in Iowa they went one step further and banned all plan white shirts because they were possibly being used as a symbol of “White Supremacy.”