Dear Black People, Why Do We Support Brands That Make A Mockery Out Of Us?

As Black people, we tend to be the setback of our own. I never understood we are always so hesitant to support black businesses. Black people will hesitate to spend $15 for a plate of soul food or $30 a shirt from a black-owned company but have no problem supporting and promoting brands that do NOTHING FOR US. Daily, we continue to support brands that make a mockery out of us just because it is a trend to be “dripped down” in designer clothing.

Let us discuss popular online boutiques. Brands such as Fashion NovaPretty Little ThingDiva BoutiqueSHEINROMWE, etc. have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. If you scroll through both the Instagram pages and websites of all the brands, you will notice that there is not much representation for women of darker skin complexions. The models all consist of women of a fair or a light bronze complexion. However, if you go on YouTube and search up reviews on the clothing items these websites carry, you will notice that a large number of Black people are the ones promoting these brands. Why is it that we are the main ones promoting and buying from these businesses when they can’t even show an ounce of love for us? 

These brands are playing it smart. They use big-name Black influencers on YouTube and Instagram to promote their clothing to continue to receive revenue from us. My question is: why are we so quick to support a brand that LOVES making money off of us, yet they can’t even at least get a couple of brown or dark-skinned women onto their website to model the same clothes that we are buying? You want to know why? They just view us as a dollar sign. They know that we would not hesitate to spend over $100 on their website, especially if we see the black influencers we know and love rocking their clothing. Yet there are black businesses out here who are STRUGGLING to receive the same exposure because we’re always so quick to say, “I’m not spending [insert dollar amount] on a shirt, sweater, dress, swimsuit, etc.”. But you will spend that much, if not more for a brand that only views us as a dollar sign? Interesting. 

Next, let us get into designer brands. The ones that EVERYONE loves to show off, spend a ridiculous amount of money on (that they do not even have), and tag in almost every picture they have with the same wilting belt: Gucci and Prada. 

Gucci disrespected us by designing and approving selling almost a $900 sweater that ironically resembles blackface. In addition to that, Prada designed a keychain with a brown-skinned monkey-like figure with over-sized red lips, which may I remind you again also resembles blackface. For those of you who do not understand how insensitive, offensive, and inconsiderate this is: watch this video for a better explanation. In addition to what I stated before, when do you ever see Black people on these designer websites to advertise their merchandise? Yet, you will support these brands who MOCK us for profit and hesitate for black business. If you can invest over $500 in a brand that does nothing for us, you can spend $60 for a sweater from brands that care about representing us and are owned by us, and I said what I said.

Now, I am not going to sit here and act like I never bought off of these boutiques before or that I have not wanted to buy off of these designer websites before. BUT that is the main reason why it is important to do your research on things and look at the bigger picture. Why would I invest my hard-earned money into a company that mocks features that I was born with, for a profit? The fact they did not even see how offensive it would be when they were designing the product shows the problem. The fact that they only discontinued the product AFTER they got called out on it SHOWS THE PROBLEM. White people tend to get comfortable disrespecting us and only apologize when they are called out on it. When they know they would do it again in a heartbeat. They always release a non-genuine public apology just to get in the public’s good graces again, and we continue to accept it and that needs to end now.

Here is a list of websites where you can find it easy to locate black-owned businesses in your area: Black-Owned BrooklynOfficial Black Wall StreetThe CouncilSupport Black Owned

Nathan Odige