14/08/2014 12:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

'Nerd' Kidswear Range Pulled By Tesco After Mum Contacts The Superstore


Tesco has bowed to pressure from the mum of a glasses-wearing toddler and removed a child's T-shirt with the word 'Geek' after she complained the clothing could make her son a target for bullies.

Aneliese Whittaker, 28, posted a message on Tesco's Facebook site asking that the T-shirts - which feature pictures of animals wearing thick glasses alongside the work Geek - be pulled from sale.

She said they 'stereotype' people who wear glasses, including her 18-month-old son Logan, who was born with dense cataracts in both eyes and wears thick 'goggle-like' blue-rimmed specs with powerful prescription lenses.

Aneliese said the designs would cause her son and other visually-impaired children to be bullied.

Tesco has now issued an apology to the mum and said they are discontinuing the entire line.

Aneliese, from Ifield, Surrey, told her local paper: "Logan is regularly teased by other children for his goggle-like glasses and this is all before he has even stepped foot in the playground.

"Luckily he's too young to understand he looks different to other children with his glasses, but this Tesco range is really disturbing.

"I understand that nerds and geeks are trendy now, but those words still have negative connotations to many. Those T-shirts were stereotyping, saying all people with glasses are nerds. It's profiling, and it's wrong.

"I am very pleased Tesco has taken my message seriously. Hopefully it will have an impact on the choices made by other retailers."

Logan has already had corrective surgery on his eyes three times and the thick cataracts mean he has very little peripheral vision, and gets scared when he's not wearing his glasses. His mum says they are so thick he has already been taunted.

In an email to Aneliese, a Tesco spokesperson said: "The glasses/geek/nerd/dork graphic trend has been massive on the high street, and from a fashion perspective the words and glasses have been reclaimed as a sign of in fact being cool and trendy.

"However, I completely understand why you feel that this style might cause offence. I am very sorry that this has upset you, in no way did we intend for this T-shirt to suggest that it is OK to call any child names.

"I always see things from a design and trend perspective, but in this case I have not considered that this might be viewed by some as a negative association. Further to your complaint, the garment will be marked down and will be removed from the shop floor shortly."

Aneliese added "My problem wasn't with adult clothing with 'geek' or 'nerd' on them. I understand that geek culture is all the rage for some people these days, and they are either proud of the term or use it ironically.

"But children don't understand irony. When they call my son a 'nerd' they mean it in a mean way, and that isn't right.

"I'm glad Tesco understand my point, and have acted so swiftly. It is not okay for children to use those words as an insult. Children can be so cruel sometimes, and do not need any encouragement from their own clothing."

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