Urban Outfitters sells clothing and specialty items that make me feel a little bit crazy.
It’s bad enough that the chain is notorious for its shady retail practices and has been accused of doing everything from stealing ideas to slapping a 300% markup onto items copped straight from Chinatown. I was also offended when the Navajo nation was forced to file a lawsuit against the company for selling undies and alcohol flasks branded as “authentic” Navajo patterns. But two items in the past week or so have completely pushed me over the edge.
Gay rights groups are inflamed by a greeting card that they are calling transphobic but Urban is calling all in good fun (because that’s how prejudiced things tend to work). The card is a play on the “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme but drops the word “tranny” like it’s no big deal. While it’s true that the average person is still figuring out how damaging a slur that is, an international retail company should certainly know better. Could the fact that the company’s CEO, Dick Haynes is a staunch Rick Santorum supporter have anything to do with the oversight and lack of comment on the offensive card so far? Hmm.
I’m not really an LGBT activist or anything but one thing I am passionate about is my generation. I’m of the cohort that can remember when there was hardly any hip-hop on the radio, when most of it that made its way through my yellow Sony Sports Walkman with the broken-off knob was golden, and songs like “O.P.P.” by Naughy by Nature let my too-young-for-that-concept behind sing along to something I didn’t even understand. That was in the 90’s…1991 to be exact. What’s that you say, Urban Outfitters? You’re selling a “Vintage 80’s OPP Sweatshirt”?
For almost ninety dollars?!?! Listen, if you’re a lost “hipster” who needs to be trendy, I don’t think the best way to go would be coping this weird shapeless bag of fabric that looks like something you’d buy on the boardwalk in Atlantic City if it suddenly go chilly and you didn’t have a jacket. I don’t know if I’m most upset by the model with the hardcore stare and that gangsta hat, the fact that there is nothing 80’s about O.P.P, or the fact that I know for sure someone actually paid ninety American dollars plus shipping and handling for this ridiculous piece of generational and cultural appropriation.
I really, really hate Urban Outfitters.