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Kids' clothing has come under fire recently for reinforcing gender stereotypes - something that even led John Lewis to remove 'boys' and 'girls' labels and introduce a gender-neutral line.
But now it seems it's not just the whole sugar-and-spice message that's causing offence, with high street giant H&M coming under fire after an image of a black child modelling a hoody with the slogan 'Coolest Monkey In The Jungle' surfaced.
The image was shared on social media after it appeared on the retail company's UK website, being labelled as 'racist', 'offensive' and 'irresponsible' by some people.
The top also came with another slogan of 'Mangrove Jungle Survival Expert', which was modelled by a white child.
The product on the website now shows the item without either of the models.
.@hm this is inappropriate, offensive, and racist. Why is the white kid "a jungle survivor" and the black kid the "coolest monkey in the jungle"? How do you think this is okay? REMOVE this and the clothing piece. This is completely distasteful! #racist #hm https://t.co/uati7eI0Io pic.twitter.com/WSF9Wiksio
- Selene Arianela (@ArianelaSelene) January 8, 2018
Uh oh, @hm. Can y'all explain why a black boy was selected to model a hoodie that says, "coolest monkey in the jungle"? Someone didn't think this through. https://t.co/q0NwrboCnq
- Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsTV) January 8, 2018
Blogger Stephanie Yeboah shared the image on Twitter, saying: "Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says 'coolest monkey in the jungle'? I mean. What."
She even found herself having to defend her comments, after other Twitter users criticised her for flagging the hoody as problematic.
Hmm. What's sad about this whole thing is the amount of racists in this thread/my mentions saying the most disgusting things, and not understanding why the photo is problematic.
It's so disappointing. Goodnight. x
- Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) January 7, 2018
So next time you want to flap your gums about what black people should find offensive and what we shouldn't, check your privilege at the door first. Next time you want to talk about 'reverse racism', ask yourself if you've ever had to go through everything I've mentioned above. pic.twitter.com/8EO1VazaDG
- Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) January 8, 2018
Despite the widespread criticism of the hoody, not everyone saw issue with the image, with some people defending the Swedish chain by saying it was simply 'an innocent mistake'.
An H&M spokeswoman said: "This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended."
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