Brittany Aldean, the wife of country singer Jason Aldean, has turned the controversy over her recent transphobic remarks into new t-shirts that incorporate references to Barbie and some favored right-wing slogans.
On Instagram Wednesday, Aug. 31, Aldean and her sister-in-law, Kasi Wicks — the sister of Jason Aldean and the wife of country singer Chuck Wicks — modeled the shirts, which read “Don’t Tread on Our Kids” in a bright pink Barbie-inspired font. Another completes the Gadsden flag reference of the slogan with an image of a coiled snake. (The flag dates back to the American Revolution and has become largely associated with right-wing causes.)
“Per usual, my words have been taken out of context over the last week,” Aldean insisted in the post. “Instead of getting twisted about the twisting of my words, I’ve chosen to bring some good out of it.”
Aldean added that the new line of shirts would be “giving back to” Operation Light Shine, a nonprofit that purports to be “shining a light of hope into the dark world of human trafficking and child exploitation.” (The exploitation of children has been at the base of numerous right-wing conspiracies, from QAnon to Wayfair.)
The shirts dropped about a week after Aldean shared an Instagram video of her putting on make-up and thanking her parents “for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase.” Aldean was subsequently called out by two of country music’s most reliable allies, Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope, with the former using a phrase that’s clearly stuck with Aldean: “Insurrection Barbie.”
After the callouts, Aldean doubled down with a lengthy post that — in its fervor to go straight to mislabeling gender-affirming care as “genital mutilation” — suggested she either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care to learn, the differences between gender expression (enjoying a “tomboy phase”) and gender identity. A week later, with the promotion of this clothing line, that still seems to be the case.