Friday, December 12, 2008

Urban Outfitters is Not Homophobic, Everyone Calm Down

So there's a minor controversy in the affordable-hipster-clothing world. Urban Outfitters recently pulled a line of t-shirts proclaiming the wearer's support for gay marriage off the shelves. Lots of gay people are angry about this, claiming the real reason the shirts were pulled isn't because they weren't selling but because the retailer's owner is a crazy conservative who despises the very gay people his clothes so frequently adorn. Except I don't think this is political at all, becuase it's not like Urban Outfitters has shied away from making political statements in their clothing in the past.

Except maybe UO doesn't actually make political statements with its clothes at all! Maybe the company knew that many of its shoppers would eat up Obama merchandise, and maybe those same consumers just weren't digging the gay-marriage ones. Or maybe the Obama shirts garnered more support than criticism, while the gay-marriage shirts have proven to be too controversial to sell, and on top of that weren't selling enough to justify all that controversy. Maybe--just maybe--Urban Outfitters is a business, focused primarily on making money, that doesn't have to stand behind any political beliefs. Because it is a clothing store. There are plenty of ways to support gay marriage; buying your political beliefs at a retailer doesn't have to be one of them.

Besides, you know the seams would fall apart after a few weeks anyway.


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