I was shocked to discover that Forever 21 was selling a magnet that said “I’m too pretty to do math.” The magnet portrays a stereotype to the effect that girls are not proficient at math. It also insinuates that ugly people study math, and it teaches girls that being attractive will get you out of doing jobs that are hard or unpleasant. I find this magnet particularly insulting because I am a woman — and I am getting a graduate degree in accounting. This magnet discourages women from entering math intensive fields.
Forever 21 has taken this magnet off their website. Hopefully, they have also removed the magnets from their stores. Although many people may think the magnet is a harmless joke, stereotypes can alter people’s image of themselves and do significant harm. People come to define themselves by that stereotype, which, of course, is not beneficial to society. We should encourage girls to study math, not laugh at their perceived inability to excel. This magnet definitely sends the wrong message to women and should not be sold.