Clothing Chain H&M Accused Of ‘Sexualizing Children’

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Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M has been forced to pull one of its school uniforms ads after being accused of sexualizing children. 

The advertisment was shown in Australia and featured two young girls in black-and-white school uniforms holding pink backpacks. The caption said, “Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion.” 

This isn’t the first time H&M’s marketing has caused outrage online. The company was accused of racist messaging in 2018 when its UK website featured a picture of a black boy wearing a green hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” across the front.

RT reports: Some users criticized the company, arguing that the combination of the imagery and the tagline were “highly inappropriate” and amounted to “shameful exploitation” of children. 

“Parents generally prefer [that] heads don’t ‘turn’ when others see their daughters walking to school, on a bus or in class,” Australian women’s rights activist Melinda Tankard Reist wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Why would you want to fuel the idea that little girls should draw attention to their looks, bodies and ‘style’?”

H&M took down the advertisement after the backlash. “This ad has now been removed. We are deeply sorry for the offense this has caused and will look into how we present campaigns going forward,” the company said in a statement to the media.

The founder of Mumsnet, a popular UK message board for parents, Justine Roberts, said it was the right decision to ax the ad. “While we’re pleased that H&M have accepted their mistake and removed the advert, it should never have been created in the first place,” she told the BBC.

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15096 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.