What is your stance on the issue with the sweatshirt wording chosen to worn the Black little boy model for the H&M ad??? His parents had to agree during the photo shoot and approve the print.. If his parent’s, why aren’t we??
As you all know children clothing with monkeys and monkey phrases have been a part of child fashion for some years now.
There are t-shirts printed with the body of a monkey that would fall on the child’s chest and the child’s head would create a monkey child, giving this visual effect:
My family was blessed with the birth of four boys during the monkey ffashion fad. We loved some of the clothing, bedding and accessories. We had no qualms about dressing our boys in the monkey prints, until the birth of my nephew last year. My niece, Nene whose theme colors for all things baby was blue, yellow and brown, from my creative standpoint I pictured monkeys and bananas.. 🐒🍌 No, I had to rethink not only helping her decorate, but my cake concept was out the window. I was excited to make my 1st Monkey Baby Shower Cake.
My niece refused to buy anything with a monkey on it, stating it would lay the foundation for people to call her baby boy a “Monkey.” She added that white people have called us “Monkey’s” for hundreds of years and she would not buy into their subliminally brainwashing by paying to call ourselves monkey’s, even if it was a cute phrase.
My blog is based on my life therefore, I must be honest with you all and say that we Black People, African American folks are guilty of calling each other “Monkey, Gorilla, African Booty Scratcher” and the list goes on. It has been said that we learned this from those that oppressed us and we use the same phases as “Nigga” and so on to break the other person’s spirit and to plain ole being mean. It’s not right and it tears away at people, leaving them broken, damaged and void of self confidence for years. Words hurt worse than any physical pain.
My niece is a 90s millennium baby who is self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and way of living and I was shocked by her “Monkey Views.” She has friends of every skin color, therefore I did not realize she had concern over racial issues, besides feeling as if we are all equal and color doesn’t matter. She is from an era of acceptance of individuality and freedom of mind, body and spirit and yet she refused to allow her baby where anything with a monkey on it.
I love monkeys, I love the baby Monkey Fashion, but I am offended by H&M and their choice to use a black little boy, a chocolate, darkskinned one at that and their choice of wording. Why??? Unlike all the examples of clothing I shared with you all, there is a big difference and that is…. there is no picture of the monkey. Therefore, one, anyone, black, white or blue would figure that this child is wearing this sweatshirt to express how he feels.
It’s the same for all of us, our clothing defines who we are on every apsect, from our economical status to how we feel on any given day. When we pick out a piece of clothing with a phrase or logo, we look at it, read it, buy it and wear it, because it is reflective of how we feel and shows who we are.
What we select will allow a person to see who we are, it’s part our 1st impression that we leave people with. Reading his sweatshirt we think he feels like “The baddest monkey in the jungle.” Now, we will remember this child model as “The Baddest Monkey” forever, because of someone’s poor choice.
I fault the parents as well. I’m pretty sure they only agreed, because the child had the opportunity to be seen all over the world and was nicely compensated for the modeling gig, it is H&M, but all money is not good money… I am happy that a black child was given the opportunity with such a big label, I’m sorry it resulted in negativity.
Let’s say there was a little white boy wearing the sweatshirt, the monkey wouldn’t be the issue, but the word “Baddest” would stand out to parents, especially white parents. Why? The word “bad” is used heavily with children who are labeled with behavioral and mental health issues, such as ADHD. White children are the majority who are diagnosed and medicated for it.
Someone would have been fired long before the concept was thought of and there would be a mega lawsuit against H&M for just the thought of putting an offense phrase on a sweatshirt that their child didn’t wear. It never would have passed the designers meeting, their design would have been torn from their pad and tossed in the trash.
However, the issue at hand is this little black boy wearing a sweatshirt entitled ” The baddest monkey in the jungle” with no cartoon monkey hanging from a tree in the jungle, shouting the phrase. Which gives us the only option to conclude that the baddest monkey is the little boy. Right?
I have a few shirts and etc with no pictures on them, only words, phrases, etc, such as “My black is beautiful.” I brought it and wear it, because I am. 🤗 Need I say more??