Listen… real quick… one of these kids IS NOT unlike the others! And just because the one little Black girl’s hair in it’s natural state is not long or straight, that doesn’t make this racist or mean that she was being mistreated. They ALL look disheveled about the head.
So two weeks ago or more, school started around the country and people were making posts about how neat their kids are before school and how they look like they’ve been through a tsunami after school…
So when I saw this H&M ad that originally singled out the Black child, I first thought of these before-after pictures. All the children in the H&M ad look like the after. ALL THE CHILDREN! So once I started reading I was appalled at the idea that her hair looked uncombed and unkempt and was “wrong”. But when I looked at the entire ad campaign, my suspicions that this pic was a play on the before-after were validated. But y’all kept going off.
“And that’s when my sensitivity gets in the way”-Luther Vandross
And this time my people, y’all are WRONG!
No matter how great thou, thou arguments, and thou commentary art, all of the children in that ad are fine just the way they are styled. ALL THE CHILDREN. Understand when we are talking about children it is imperative that they be treated equitably and equally and made to feel like their difference is okay. It is adults who are complicated and need all this complex shit because we complicate it in the first place. The most basic idea of discrimination and racism is how we are treated because of our difference.
So when these kids were being styled, all of their hair was in a state of disarray. To brush and comb and make neat the Black girls tight coils… or to smooth down and lengthen her texture, cuz that’s what all the appalled people really want… when that was not done to the other children, teaches her that her hair is not good enough to even be photographed as is. That after a long day of playing she should be ashamed of her natural state. Nope. Nope. Nope.
They are all just fine. They are children, they are in an ad campaign “Picture Day Style” and “Recess Fresh” …none of their hair is perfect. I had long ponytails and smooth hair by nature but recess turned into a different wild situation all together, and we don’t discuss picture day. Wanting her hair beat into submission is ridiculous and wrong. We speak of colorism often as this internal bias, and our hair being a source of external bias. But clearly we are just as internally biased about hair texture. She should know that how she is hair smooth and ponytails puffed out into perfect rounds is the same beautiful she is with her thick tight coils gathered. And you should check your foolishness. I love y’all but you’re dead wrong on this one. Say no to hairism.
We gotta stop trying to FIND racism. It doesn’t hide yo! Cultural insensitivity is not necessarily racist, but it should be minimized by company’s marketing team by hiring more people of color to inform them. But this, is neither. Check that fake outrage and sensitivity and call it what it really is… an internal bias. Y’all wanted to see her hair styled, and for Black people, women especially, that’s all hair laid down smooth and gathered into a lengthened puff or braid or braided down neatly. That wasn’t the point of the photo. So get over it, and again, check yourself.
All children deserve to be celebrated before and after. ALL THE CHILDREN!
Baby girl is a beautiful Black princess!
“Black pearl, precious little girl
Let me put you up where you belong
Black pearl, pretty little girl
You’ve been in the background much too long” -Sonny Charles and the Checkmates