Being one of the many people across the globe who works all day Monday to Friday with a long commute chucked in for good measure, I don’t often get a chance to go shopping. Once in a blue moon I’ll tear down Westfields in one fell swoop, along with the thousands of other frenzied shoppers rushing from one store to another. But only if I have to – and certainly not on weekends. Frankly, I hate physical shopping. The sweat, brawling and tears are simply not worth it when I can buy everything online on my iPad, from the comfort of my home…or the train.
My go-to site for absolutely everything from Saturday night cocktail dresses to daily workwear is ASOS.com. They stock everything from underwear, dresses, shoes and accessories to laptop cases, makeup and headphones. I could have been in the running for their biggest fan up til recently, when I discovered a pretty outrageous item of clothing. And not of the male, animal-print variety.
I was browsing through the t-shirts section of the site when I came across a woman’s top adorned with a black and white image of 2Pac. Being a fan of the late rapper, and interested to see who had made the shirt, I clicked on the thumbnail to get a better view. Photoshopped onto the image was a finger with a moustache tattoo, held over 2Pac’s moustache area à la Basil Fawlty in Hitler mode. I thought this was bizarre but not to the same extent of the slogan underneath, which reads “LIFE IS A JOKE”.
I’m shocked that ASOS are endorsing such an offensive item of clothing, and that such a small amount of people to be bothered by it. Out of my 1,800+ followers on Twitter, only a few expressed their aversion for the shirt. Maybe I’ve just got too much time on my hands (unlikely) to be thinking about these things but I wouldn’t want my murdered friend or family member’s face on a t-shirt with such an insulting slogan. Perhaps the visitors to ASOS are in agreement, as the site are trying to bump the remaining stock off the shelves with 50% off the original price. It seems to be one of the brand’s least popular shirts. Every cloud…
This week, Rihanna successfully sued Topshop for having unlawfully used her image on one of their shirts. Whilst I am not a Rihanna fan, and I’m guessing she could probably get by without whatever compensation she’s won from the case, I don’t disagree with the fact that she sued them. I am guessing Eleven Paris did not gain permission from 2Pac’s family to use his image on their shirt, or that they are making any money from the sales. I’m guessing they probably don’t even know about the shirt, but I do wonder how they’d feel if they found out that a fashion company is making money from the murder of their relative.
When I Tweeted ASOS to express my concerns, I was met with some shockingly juvenile responses. Their defence in making money from the distasteful shirt was that it was supposed to be “iconic and fun”. Would they make fun of the tragic death of Aaliyah or the suicide of Kurt Cobain? The full thread of Tweets are below.
What is your opinion of the shirt? Do you feel I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, or do you think ASOS and Eleven Paris should be ashamed?