#GapKids Where is the #BlackGirlMagic?

Last week I touched on the unavoidable presence of Black activists on social media that have truly taken advantage of the use of hashtags and multimedia platforms to keep issues trending and relevant. I also mentioned the dark side of assuming this role and soon I will be posting a vlog about the different hashtags that have flooded social media.

While brainstorming about this week’s first post, I was perusing the internet for my next topic, I ran across the backlash that the newest GapKids commercial and ad has gotten. What’s the holdup? Take a peak at the featured image up top and think about it. Or click on this link and pay attention to the dynamic of the commercial. Seems odd right?

Now, there are some who think that there isn’t anything particularly wrong with the ad, and I have to admit that I was nearly one of those people. But after watching the commercial and reading some of the comments and looking at some tweets, I realize that there really is an issue. For those that didn’t see an issue with the ad, they usually alluded to a recent GapKids ad that had a similar construct with one key difference:

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Did you see it? Because of this, many spectators continued to paint those who reacted to the most recent ad as exaggerating leftists. As for the commercial, these spectators have yet to respond to its dynamic and how “leftists” are in the wrong for reacting appropriately (in my opinion).

Meanwhile, GapKid’s Twitter account has yet to give the response that people want to hear:

Screenshot 2016-04-05 13.40.03

The fact that in the commercial the little black girl barely speaks, does not
have her own spotlight, and isn’t addressed so that she is just ‘solemnly’ sitting there is a huge problem. Couple that with the ad used, and that just makes matters as worse as some YouTube users commented.

Screenshot 2016-04-05 13.54.23

This is a vital time in media where Black consumers and viewers, in addition to some liberal consumers and viewers, are aware of the subtle nuances that have portrayed Black people negatively in mass media outlets. From reality shows with ratchet characters, to prime-time TV series with stereotyped characters, many companies have to be more mindful than ever about being inclusive and using appropriate representations if they want the Black dollar.

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