No really, we have to boycott another major retailer?! So like most of the internet world, I too saw the poorly thought out and executed ad by H&M. It features a young black boy wearing a hoodie that reads, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”.
Now if you REALLY don’t know your history, then you may or may not find this to be too offensive, but if you know like I know, a bit about false and exaggerated representation done to black and brown bodies then this is a sensitive matter for you. Although, H&M did apologize, in a comment on Instagram, it is time to stop putting our dollars where we are not valued. Time and time again we are reminded the importance of diversity in boardrooms and actively practicing inclusion via media and in our everyday life. Black and Brown people need to understand the importance of their money. Sometimes we, myself included, get so caught up in buying something because of the attractive price point and style that we neglect to shop consciously for things made with integrity and with YOU in mind; not just your dollar.
H&M is not the first mega retailer to show their true colors when it relates to culture sensitivity and awareness nor will they be the last, but will this be the last ad that gets your panties in a bunch? No need to boycott, just find a company that works for you. Yes, it’s really that simple. As a community with the largest spending power and the fastest growing number of business owners, thank you Black Women, we have to take hold of that power. People of color are searching for acceptance and inclusion from places that don’t care to include you. So, look for companies that are centered in diversity, inclusion, promote self awareness and culture sensitivity. It’s time to stop asking for a spot at the picnic and enjoy our own BBQ.
Click the link below for 22 Black owned alternatives to H&M.
H&M’s Instagram Apology:
– Candidly Crystal