Monday, July 4, 2022

H&M Slammed Over Ad Featuring Black Model with ‘Messy’ Natural Hair

H&M ad

*H&M has come under fire for featuring a young Black model on its site who appears to have uncombed and inappropriately styled natural hair.

A screenshot of the young girl started circulating on Twitter and Instagram on Thursday after many noted how her hair was a hot ass mess in a pulled back bun. One of the biggest critics was celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois, who shared the image on IG along with the caption:

“This beautiful young girl’s #kinky hair appears to have had very little to no attention yet all of her counterparts have clearly sat in front of someone who was more [than] capable of styling other hair textures,” Francois captioned a screenshot on his Instagram. “My heart breaks imagining yet another girl from my community sitting in front of a mirror being ignored by the team around her, left to her own devices because someone didn’t know how to handle her texture.”

Francois added, “It’s breathtaking to me that not one person looked at this shot and had the same reaction that the internet seems to be feeling since the campaign broke,” he wrote. “THAT IS AN ISSUE.”

See his full post below. 

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View this post on Instagram

 

It’s essential that we have a conversation about this photograph from the @hm_kids campaign. Before I begin, I do not have the facts, nor have I seen any statement by #H&M or the team who worked on this. This post is just an assessment based on all my years of seeing situations like this happen time and time again. And its got to stop. This beautiful young girl’s #kinky hair appears to have had very little to no attention yet all of her counterparts have clearly sat in front of someone who was more then capable of styling other hair textures. My heart breaks imagining yet another girl from my community sitting in front of a mirror being ignored by the team around her, left to her own devices because someone didn’t know how to handle her texture. As if that’s not bad enough…. Prior to this campaign appearing this photograph will have been seen and APPROVED by countless ‘professionals’. Lets say conservatively 50 people. It’s breathtaking to me that not one person looked at this shot and had the same reaction that the internet seems to be feeling since the campaign broke. THAT IS AN ISSUE. We must do better. Our girls, our young women deserve better. Let this be a moment of learning. #Education is key #wehavetodobetter #vernonfrancois #Ignorance #blackgirlmagic #allhairisgoodhair

A post shared by Vernon François (@vernonfrancois) on

Several folks took to Twitter to share similar critiques about the model’s hair, per Daily Mail:

‘Apparently @hm thinks allowing this African American young lady’s hair to look like this in their AD is acceptable! I find this disrespectful! This is a clear example that there are no people of color working at the higher level because they would have not allowed this,’ one person tweeted.

Another wrote: ‘Excuse me @hm I just want to talk, because natural is fine but not doing her hair properly/at all is not…’

‘H&M AT IT AGAIN They wrong for that. Where the child mama? I hope she sue them for public humiliation, defamation of character, and discrimination. They could [have] had a stylist touch this child hair. Pathetic,’ another person tweeted.

One Twitter user said that ‘no black mama finna have they child walkin out the door like that lol. It ain’t even about whether her edges need to be laid or not, but if sis hair can’t be *styled* back into a puffball they could’ve easily *styled* a lil fro’.

H&M ad  H&M ad H&M ad

Others had a different perspective and shared screenshots of the other young girls in campaign — all with their hair sloppily done or frizzy.

‘It’s very telling that you lot plucked the black girl out to ridicule her hair when all the other kids on the H&M site look like this. Says a lot about you tbh,’ one person wrote.

A second user said the photo is ‘actually the best representation of black children. Good job @hm. She looks like the average black child. Her hair is as natural as it can be and i love it. Edges & Melanin are untouched and i am here for it’.

Another person shared: ‘All I hear black people complain about is “embracing them natural selves” this is natural. Stop picking and choosing what’s considered appropriate hair for african Americans just because she’s posted on H&M. Either embrace all natural or stop complaining when others don’t!’

Though all of the children have messy hair in the ad, many are pointing how very telling it is that critics are picked out the Black girl to ‘ridicule’:

H&M ad H&M ad

H&M ad

H&M released a statement explaining why the kids campaign featured the girls with messy hair.

We are aware of the comments regarding one of our models for H&M Kids. We truly believe that all kids should be allowed to be kids. The school-aged kids who model for us come to the photo studio in the afternoon after school and we aim for a natural look which reflects that.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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