So if you’ve been scrolling down your social media pages this week, you probably would have come across this picture…
This was a picture released by clothing store H&M this week , showing a young black boy modelling children’s clothing, perfectly fine right ? However what has sparked global outcry, as I should say is the backlash H&M received over the words printed on the jumper ” Coolest Monkey In The Jungle”. Many people were outraged over this picture, questioning H&M’s reasons behind this and even threatening to boycott the clothing store. As this is all over my Instagram feed, I looked into this more and decided to talk about my opinion on this interesting topic.
Now personally, ( I really hope I don’t get backlash for this lool ) I actually don’t think its racist at all. Here’s why. I was just scrolling through my explore page on Instagram as you do normally, and I happen to come across this picture as it had gained prominence on social media. My immediate thought to this was , “oh just another store promoting their clothing- normal right?” It wasn’t until I clicked on the picture and the caption was shaming H&M for releasing this picture on their website, blaming them for deliberate racist terminology being used on the model, it just wasn’t looking good.
So I thought to myself, what is the big deal ? It wasn’t until I read the comments, that everyone was angry at the words printed on the jumper. That’s where I began to understand everyone’s outrage. Now obviously the connotations with “monkeys” and black people have stemmed from the past, it could even be argued as a current racial issue today, so when it has been printed on a black boy, it is understandable to an extent to see where everyone’s anger has come from.
But I still thought about it and said to myself, wellll …. is it really necessary for people to be on such a rant about this ? Is it really racist as people say it is ? and honestly I thought to myself – no. If you think about it, at the end of the day it’s children’s clothing. You would normally see words such as the one printed above written on boys children’s clothing, even the boy who happens to be white modelling with him had the words ” Mangrove Jungle Survival Expert” printed on his jumper, it just so happened that the boy with the monkey caption was black, so immediately everyone went on a social media rampage about the jumper. I do totally see where people with these views are coming from, but strangely I would say I don’t completely agree with them.
This picture has really had an effect on people, so much that even Diddy has apparently offered the boy a $1 million dollar modelling contract in response to H&M’ actions. The Weeknd who had a collaboration with H&M last year stated “i’m deeply offended and will not be working with the brand anymore” on his twitter, adding to the publicity of this picture due to his huge following on Twitter. The main response to this was the huge amount of people stating they were going to boycott the store, both online and in store branches, in response to their actions.
Seeing this reminded me of the Dove campaign, back in 2011 outrage sparked over Dove’s ad showing a black female taking off a brown shirt over head, to which a white female is shown after, insinuating that using the dove product will either make you whiter I’m guessing ? , however people failed to miss the fact that after the white woman was shown, she took off her top and a middle eastern woman was shown, demonstrating that the Dove lotion works for all skin tones and every race. But I can’t even lie, I was angry back then myself about this ad, I guess we all misinterpreted the meanings behind this ad !
Well I’ve stated my points and opinions on this controversial topic regarding H&M, and I would really love to see who agrees with my views, many would say that H&M made this move and don’t realise the consequences that came with this picture, also many would say the they were doing this for publicity as they are one of the trending topics of news on social media right now. Whatever the intentions where behind this picture is really left for the individual to decide…