Urban Outfitters, a popular clothing brand among adolescents, is drawing criticism for a new line of t-shirts that some say is glorifying underage drinking.
The new line has racy and provocative messages such as "I Vote For Vodka" and "USA Drinking Team." One of the shirts being worn by a noticeably young teen model wears a t-shirt that reads "I Drink You're Cute" which makes light of a serious situation- underage drinking and possible sexual activity.
A survey recently released revealed that among high school aged children, one out of five is currently drinking and using illicit drugs. Many parent advocacy groups are upset at the blatant disregard for the message being given to young adults and are urging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of underage drinking and illicit drug use.
Urban Outfitters targets very specific age demographics- those who are from 18 to 24 and consumers who fall into the under 18 category- which is why there has been such a push back from various advocacy groups.
"Kids shouldn't be wearing these t-shirts … marketing [alcohol-related products] to teens is not in any way acceptable," Jan Withers, National President of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), told Shine.com.
Withers' own daughter, Alisa Joy, was killed in a car crash by an underage drinker when she was 15 years old. While she does not approve of the t-shirts, Withers see this as a great opportunity for parents to have a serious discussion with their children about the dangers consuming alcohol and using drugs.
"It's a perfect opportunity to talk to kids about the dangers of alcohol use for teens … part of our mission at MADD is to prevent underage drinking and the research shows that the best way to combat this is to have an ongoing dialogue with our children," Withers told Shine.com.