(NEW YORK) — A birthday greeting card that tells 13-year-old girls they could get jewels from rich boyfriends “when they have bigger boobies” has sparked outrage on Twitter.
The condemnation was unleashed following a Dec. 7 tweet from user @cheesyhels in the United Kingdom: “Look at this shockingly awful card I found today for a 13 year old!” she wrote, along with a link to an image of the card.
The card, created more than 14 years ago by a company that was since acquired by Hallmark Cards UK, read:
“You’re 13 today! If you had a rich boyfriend he’d give you diamonds and rubies
Well, maybe next year you will – when you’ve bigger boobies!”
The drawing on the Arnold Barton brand card depicts a girl holding a box containing a ring.
There was immediate outrage on Twitter. The original tweet was retweeted 515 times. American author Maureen Johnson also tweeted about the card, and her tweet was retweeted more than 1,100 times.
One user tweeted in response: “I hope when she’s 14 she doesn’t have a boyfriend buying her rubies because of her boobies.”
Other Twitter users expressed disbelief, including one user who said, “Is that real? That cannot be real.”
Lynn C. Schreiber, who wrote a post about it for Jump!, a British magazine for young girls, said in her post, “Words failed me when a Twitter friend showed me the card that she had seen in a local newsagent.”
“You won’t have to rely on a boyfriend, or hope that your ‘boobies’ grow big enough,” Schreiber’s post continued. “You will be successful and happy because of your intelligence and creativity, not because of your looks.”
Hallmark’s U.S. corporate office posted an apology from Hallmark UK on its website on December 7. It also explained that the card was created before Hallmark bought the company in 1998.
“We are as surprised and horrified as anyone else to have discovered that there are still copies in circulation,” David Dean, managing director of Hambledon Studios, a subsidiary of Hallmark UK, said in the statement. “The card has not been produced for over 15 years and would never pass our own strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness. We would like to assure all our customers that we will do everything in our power to track down remaining copies.”
Schreiber updated her blog and posted on Twitter to ask that people not blow the issue out of proportion.
“We didn’t not intend to get the Twitchforks out against either the manufacturer of the card…or the company who now own the manufacturer,” she wrote in an update to her initial blog.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Doug Criss, CNN
Heather Long, CNN