Brands lately seem to think racism is cute. Just so you know, it's not. Especially not during Black History Month. That didn't stop Gucci from releasing a jumper that appeared to give its wearer blackface.
Twitter went in on the brand until it recalled the item and released an apology, but this is merely one more in a long list of racist items invented by fashion designers. Adidas recently did the same thing with the collection it released for Black History Month, and Prada experience similar backlash last year. Seriously, who is approving this nonsense?
Just in case you were wondering what not to get your S.O. for Valentine's Day, here's an idea: A Gucci sweater that looks an awful lot like blackface.
Gucci recently unveiled these jumpers featuring a built-in balaclava. According to The New York Times, this sweater was retailing for a casual $890.
Just in case you're unaware, a balaclava is a kind of headgear that covers your nose and mouth (think ski mask or the Black Hood from Riverdale). Considering how cold it is this time of year in America, this design could've made sense, were it not for one disturbing detail.
The problem isn't the balaclava itself — it's that the black jumper's red detailing strongly resembles the lips seen on offensive blackface characters throughout history.
This jumper could have been a cute yet functional piece in someone's wardrobe, but the "lips" take it to another level entirely.
These images of black people have been around for far too long.
Some people might think a sweater is no big deal, but blackface has a long history, and it looks just like this sweater. Blackface performers used this over-exaggerated fallacy of blackness (dark skin, comedially large, red lips) during shows to humiliate black people with hurtful stereotypes.
These shows typically portrayed black people as being uneducated, among a whole slew of other negative traits. This clip from one performance goes as far as to say black people are worthless.
Blackface even pops up in children's cartoons from time to time — no wonder this racism is so pervasive.
Shows aimed at children aren't strangers to blackface either. These showed black people as lazy. In this clip, you can see a black man picking cotton.