Offensive Or What? The 'Funny' Slogans Making A Joke Of Child Abuse On BABY Clothes

10/02/2012 17:40 | Updated 22 May 2015
Offensive or hilarious? The 'funny' slogans making a joke of child abuse on BABY clothesHive Tees

What do the following slogans have in common?

"I've got herpes"

"Let's make a porno"

"I'd rather be masturbating"

"I do f*** all all day"

"A dollar for your panties"

"I like a good spanking, just like my mommy"

"F***ing with my rights as a smoker may be hazardous to your health"

"Have you seen my foreskin?"

"They shake me"

No, they're not lines from controversial comedian Frankie Boyle's latest stand-up routine.

They are slogans on onesies and T-shirts...for BABIES!

Some are just crude, others make light of child abuse.

Hilarious aren't they? Laughed? I almost did.

But believe it or not, there is a buoyant and growing market for these items.

Dozens of websites are selling the baby gros, T-shirts, bibs and blankets bearing the "funny" slogans for as little as £11.

Many are bought as gifts for parents of newborns – and as a joke between adults, you can perhaps see the funny side.

But when those parents are actually dressing their little innocents in such clothing, well, pardon my French but WTF!!

Last week, a baby gro bearing the slogan "They Shake Me" infuriated children's charities who said it endorsed child abuse.

It was being sold on Amazon for £15, but the online retailing giant removed it from sale.

HiveTees, which was selling the "They Shame Me" babygro, described it as looking "good on all babies, both boys and girls."

But the NSPCC said shaking was "no joking matter," while The Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) said the babygro was "endorsing child abuse".

Non-accidental head injury is the most common cause of death and serious disability in maltreated babies. Research suggests at least 200 babies a year suffer from these injuries, but this is considered an underestimate as some cases will go undetected.

Lisa Turan, CEO of The Child Injury Brain Trust, said: "Promoting this type of appalling activity - 'shaking a baby' - is nothing less than endorsing child abuse and or dismissing the seriousness of such an act."

NSPCC chief executive Andrew Flanagan said: "This is a serious issue and absolutely no joking matter. Making light of child abuse is simply offensive and undermines the hard work of social workers and others who work tirelessly to keep babies and children safe."

But the "They Shake Me" slogan is just the tip of the iceberg.


Pictures of couples engaged in sex acts; explicit, uncensored swear words; and phrases turning child abuse into a joke are just some of the designs on garments being sold online.


One of the biggest retailers is CafePress. It acts as a link between slogan designers and buyers.

It says on its website: "If you're looking for Funny Baby Clothes online our baby clothing gift store is ideal. Warning: The really offensive baby clothes with their very offensive, rude and funny designs are at the bottom of the page so scroll down if you don't mind being offended, you've been warned!"

Fair enough. But perhaps it's not us over-18s that need the heads up: it's the kids who have no choice in the matter.

Tamsin Kelly, editor of, says: "I'm wary of many of these slogans and so-called funny T-shirts worn by innocent babies and small children. They might be funny to the adults who see them, but they can also be read by youngsters – perhaps the baby's older siblings. What kind of example is it setting them?

"It's hard enough when children ask embarrassing questions. How on earth are you supposed to answer a child who asks what these words mean?"

Are we just being prudes? After all, the youngsters wearing the slogans can't read. And if they get laughed at or fingers pointed at them, they just love the attention, right?

Dad-of-two Dean Beaumont, founder of Daddy Natal and Baby Natal, a support and education service for expectant and new dads, said he was "immensely saddened" by the trend in offensive slogans for babies.

"Unfortunately I think they are endemic of a sad shift in our society," he said. "Competitive parenting has increased massively - parents seem to be in such a hurry now for their children to grow up.

"We see parents constantly competing to have the child that crawled first, talked first or walked first.


Slogans seem to have jumped on this trend, we now see almost a competition of bad taste. How much can we sexualise our children, or bring obscenities into their lives?

"If as a parent you find these humorous, great - you wear the T-shirt but don't put it on your child because is it really funny?"

In my straw poll of parents, nine out of 10 agreed, saying they found the slogans "sick" and "offensive" and "tantamount to child abuse".

But a couple of mums said we needed to "chill out – it's just a joke!" But if that's all it is, then surely, the joke's on baby. And how funny is it really?

A spokesman for CafePress told Parentdish: "CafePress is a marketplace of user-designed products, widely ranging in topic. As is the case with user-generated products, we often receive merchandise images from customers that others find distasteful or offensive.

"As part of the user design process, customers can choose to add their images to either (A) a specific product(s) or (B) all products – resulting in a wide variety of user uploaded designs on adult apparel, children's apparel and a wide variety of other products.

"We do have a content usage policy regulating what is, and what is not permissible on If a customer feels that the rules of that policy have not been applied to a specific image, we encourage them to e-mail with details.

"When we receive questions about the images, we will review and determine whether they abide by our content usage policy."

What do you think of the new trend for offensive slogans on baby clothes?

Is it time we parents took a stand and boycotted shops and online retailers selling this rubbish?
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