using white models to sell black girl magic tees…oh no they didn’t

July 31, 2017
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Woke commercialism reached peek tone deaf whiteness this weekend when Jackie Aina pointed out on Twitter that is using white models to sell black empowerment t-shirts. Zazzle, which sells custom tees and other merchandise appeared to use stock models to promote everything from “Black Girl Magic” to “Unapologetically Black”. Afros to Black Lives Matter.

And it’s totally fair to note that—as did in their response to the controversy—that the stock models they use are in fact randomized. Nobody consciously chooses them. But even a random sampling of models should include, I don’t know, the rest of society who aren’t white.

In a statement to Yahoo News, a rep for Zazzle said, “Each designer is shown a series of pre-posed randomized model shots upon which their design is placed. It’s always possible that gender, race and other attributes of the model do not match up to the specifics of the design, given the ratio of our millions of designs to the 100 or so t-shirt styles we offer. At Zazzle, we’re committed to diversity and are working on increasing the diversity of the pre-posed model shots and the t-shirt range itself.”

That’s nice, but their website hasn’t taken any action to include more accurate and appropriate representation in this regard, so it’s safe to say they’re in no rush to remedy the tone deafness.