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©2018 by Rainbow Caverns

What's the deal with gendered Disney tees?

October 30, 2019

If you frequent the Disney parks in the United States you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon with some of the parks’ visitors. Many families and friends visit the parks while wearing their own custom made t-shirts, which have a variety of messages, celebrating family reunions, children’s birthdays, bridal showers, and more. While some of these are charming and sentimental, others sort of make you turn your head and squint in confusion.

 

Twitter user Rob Yeo recently tweeted about these particularly confusing custom tees, prompting an entire Twitter thread about them. These shirts are often worn by couples, where a woman might wear a shirt that says “Best Day Ever!” while her spouse wears one donning “Most Expensive Day Ever.” Alternatives include sayings like, “I’m done adulting for today and ready to be an actual Disney princess” for women’s shirts, with corresponding men’s shirts saying, “I’m done with this vacation.” Ahh, so heartwarming. 

 

Best Weekend Ever Couples Shirts | © Pinterest

 

A quick Google search reveals a wide array of styles of these types of shirts. Most of them are written in the infamous rounded, curvy font used in The Walt Disney Company logo. Copyright laws have left the chat.

 

This is a pattern seen in a lot of these custom shirts. The main selling point is the humor of engaging in gender stereotypes. Because women just love being sassy, drinking wine, and are always careless with money, while men are only allowed to complain about high prices while on vacation, right? Never mind that going to a Disney park is a family vacation that everyone is supposed to enjoy.

 

 “I’m Just Here to Pay for Everything” Shirt | © Pinterest

 

We get it, Disneyland and Walt Disney World can be quite expensive. Even to the family that saves up their entire vacation fund and budgets to the last penny, Disney parks pricing can prove to be surprisingly high. Why is that something to point out in a t-shirt, though? For laughs? Okay, fine. Then why is it men’s shirts that point out the high prices, while women’s shirts indulge in their responsibility-free princess fantasies? Why are we still upholding outdated heteropatriarchal concepts?

 

The phrases may seem silly and fun, but they actually have very harmful implications. They are sexist in the fact that they gender certain activities and emotions. They also emphasize heteronormativity, or the idea that heterosexuality is the “normal” or default sexual orientation.  This is harmful and violent, and encourages the stereotype of a man and his wife. These tees are made with a man and his wife in mind, excluding LGBTQ+ couples and Disney fans.

 

This is something that definitely should not be encouraged or alluded in any form at any Disney park. 

 

We need to do better and strive for better. Women don’t just forget all their problems, want to drink wine, and prance around the parks with a churro in each hand (okay, maybe the last one is true). In addition, men aren’t just there just to pay for everything. 

 

This writer here at Rainbow Caverns says ENOUGH

 

It’s perfectly okay to enjoy your vacation! And spending a lot of money? It’s alright – that’s actually expected and totally normal! If you plan a visit to a foreign country for the first time, expect to spend money on food and souvenirs, just like you would at the Disney parks.

 

No judgement or shame if you like to wear matching shirts with your loved ones. We only seek to scratch below the surface and question those with harmful and damaging messages. We can still dress cute while discouraging outdated gender norms. Upholding heteropatriarchy is never funny or adorable.

 

As an alternative to wearing matching shirts that promote heteronormativity, we suggest these awesome customizable t-shirts for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and families can even include their last name on them! Best of all, they’re from shopDisney.com, so you know they’re from a trusted source. 

 

We can’t forget to uplift the voices of our LGBTQ+ friends! One shop, Dapper Digs, has some amazing, inclusive Disney-inspired fashion that are so colorful and bright, they’re perfect for Disney days!

 

 Dreamer Tee | © Dapper Digs

 

Join the conversation on Twitter! Which LGBTQ+ Disney-inspired shops did we miss?

 

Like Disney parks, social norms change so quickly, and tacky, heternormative stereotyping clothing is on its way out. As Disney becomes more open and accepting to our diverse world, we suggest following suit.

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