Online retailer Zazzle.com has recently found itself under fire for using white women to model “Black Girl Magic” T-shirts on its website.
The company, which allows people to customize their own clothes, was called out by a Twitter user called @jackieaina who was understandably surprised by what she found. She tweeted a picture from their website and it was soon retweeted by other people who were confused, angered, and outraged by the company’s bizarre decision, not least because Black Girl Magic is a term designed to “celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women.”
However, despite how bad it may seem, it appears that Zazzle didn’t deliberately arrange for this particular pairing to occur. They host their products through an e-commerce platform, but the online marketplace uses a computerized system that pairs those products with random models. In this case it just happened to pair the wrong thing with the wrong model, but the fact that the default model seems to be white raises a number of important questions that online retailers might want to think about for the future…
More info: Twitter