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June 24, 2014 / admin

Baby k’Tan Gate – Offensive because it’s true?


Um… Is there something wrong with this picture?

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Social media has been lit up with chatter about the above advertisements from Baby k’Tan, a company that produces baby slings. The image being circulated portrays two packages from the same company (for different products) with very nuanced differences.

One package advertising Baby K’Tan’s regular baby carriers is of a seemingly caucasian couple (although baby K’tan later clarified that the couple featured is a caucasian mother and hispanic father), and the other package advertising the company’s organic line features a black mother with baby and a noticeably empty space where the father should be standing.

Cue the outrage, hang wringing, pearl clutching and mile long comment sections about how wronged black women and men are portrayed in the media. But just how off the mark is this advertisement?

The fact of the matter is 72.3% of black children are born to single mothers. Wait, you might say. Just because a couple isn’t married doesn’t mean that the father is not present in the home. By this measure, the situation is only slightly better, as 67% of all black children live in single-parent homes. (source: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jul/29/don-lemon/cnns-don-lemon-says-more-72-percent-african-americ/)
Becoming irate at reality is like objecting to gravity when you fall. Whether you like it or not, whether it be ideal or not, gravity is one of the laws of physics – it’s the way the world works – and Black fathers are absent from their offspring’s lives / abandon the women they procreate with far more than other groups of men in the global village.

Could it be that the Black people crying racism are up in arms because they are fully aware of the prevalent baby mama culture that is the norm in the black community and are upset that their dirty laundry is being aired and reflected for all to see? Yes, it’s a shameful fact and being mad is not going to change a thing.

 

It’s worth mentioning here that Baby K’Tan did issue a response to the backlash, stating:

“We have a total of 5 different products, each featuring a different image on the front of the packaging. One box has the Caucasian couple on the front, and the other four boxes have individual mothers with their babies on the front (including African American and Caucasian women)”

Despite the claims that the messaging was intentionally stereotypical and discriminatory, I highly doubt this company made the decision to single out Black women to make them feel like utter losers for making questionable choices in who they chose to mate with. How would that translate to sales and profits, which is pretty much all a company is concerned with?

Yes, it is plausible that they made a judgment call to showcase single mothers because that is a very real, albeit sad (in the case where the woman would prefer otherwise) reality for many women in this country. After all, we tend to buy into images that we relate to.

 

Still, I maintain that the people up in arms about this company’s packaging / advertising need to have several seats. There are far more important things to think and talk about – like perhaps teaching women and girls to value themselves and choose wisely – including looking beyond Black boys and men as potential partners, and teaching black boys and men to stop sowing their oats around the town with women they have no intention of marrying, stop having children out of wedlock, and in the case when they do produce offspring, doing right by these kids by having an active financial and physical presence in their lives.

 

Lastly, since I am a business woman, how about stressing that white, hispanic, asian, etc. people are not responsible for making us look good. If you want to see Black people portrayed a certain way, you’re going to have to be the ones to do it. As many BWE writers have noted in the past, one such way is to align yourself with the most powerful men on the face of the planet who have a tendency to love and protect the women they mate with, uplift them in ways outside of their relationship, see the merits of a nuclear family, and actual make an honest women out of the women they love by marrying and supporting them.

 

Would love to hear your thought on the matter – am I missing something here? Are you offended by Baby K’Tan’s advertising choices? leave a comment below

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11 Comments

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  1. Jason Steward / Jun 24 2014 6:24 am

    I have to question those numbers that the government came up with after all the government is not so fond of African Americans and will produce falsified numbers let’s be realistic here we are not the most favorite and the United States African-Americans.so I can expect those numbers and percentiles to be a little bit off the mark. However what about those black couples that are married like they have not shown a picture of that? So whether the numbers are true or false there are married black couples they just rather show the very worst of the African-American and display African-Americans in a horrible light and this is nothing new!! Versus the white! There are white single mothers as well and why wasn’t that displayed?

    • admin / Jul 12 2014 10:19 am

      They had other packages with single white women on the cover as well.

  2. Car / Jun 24 2014 7:31 am

    It is offensive because it is not true and people are tired of sterotypes!

  3. Car / Jun 24 2014 7:37 am

    Oh and were are your statistics from? I am a black woman and I was not born to a single black mother, neither was my brother, my husband, or my son. CERTAINLY we are not the only ones!

    • admin / Jul 12 2014 10:20 am

      The link for the statistics are right in the post

  4. Teri / Jun 25 2014 12:02 am

    Too many U.S. businesses are closing, everyday. Companies lose money from Ads like this. It is stupid of them to purposely risk losing sales. If they put a black mother with a white husband at her side they would sell even more K’TAN carriers. They used a dumb strategy to relate to single mothers. Racist people and racist companies lose big business from all people of every culture when they stereotype or exploit us.

    It just shows how they’re out of touch with customers by assuming all black mothers have no man. Businesses thrive when they’re creative enough to flow with untraditional lifestyles. Consumers respectfully imagine something different, that’s reality. It would actually uplift any single mother to purchase the item if she saw both a mother and a father in the picture. Donald Sterling has proven to us all how easy it is to lose business in America when you’re not aware of what’s more acceptable.

  5. Renee / Jul 12 2014 1:58 am

    I’m passed off that ANOTHER “black woman” would even say this without verifiable proof. I’m MARRIED with two beautiful sons. My husband and I are both college graduates and what WE have noticed is that is an old ass stereo type. What’s funny is you have a lot to say downgrading the black community, YOU my dear are a part of the problem with your crab ass. Smh

    • admin / Jul 12 2014 10:23 am

      You may choose to ignore the PROOF, which is linked directly in the article. Great, you’re part of the 30 something percent of Black women who wasn’t born to a single mother. The fact still remains you are in the minority. Feel free to take your head out of your crab ass any day now

  6. Norris / Jul 16 2014 12:25 pm

    Would it have been such a burden to find a black male model to place behind her? Nope. Despite that ‘statistic’ lol, I think there is no way that they did this advertisement without slight intentions to portray black women in a negative light.

    What’s even worse to me, is the underlying tones of arrogance and the snobby attitude that the author of this article has toward unwed black mothers and black men. Or, in fact, the black community in general. From her quick defending of every group that is not black, to her ‘sincere’ advice for those young black women. Each sentence was full of your disdain for black people and even though, like you, I LOVE me some bwwm relationships, I still have a deep and strong love and admiration for the black community, including black men.

    I think you’ve been feeding into all the crap that the American media loves to ‘teach’ us about black people. We are loud, ugly, poor, and stupid…I laugh even to type that sentence because it is simply not true!

    I suggest you learn your black history, and I don’t mean the little paragraphs about slavery and MLK that they teach for one week in February in history class. Go out and learn about the Afrcan American inventors, the first black settlers to come to America before Columbus, the courageous people that risked their lives for civil equality for you and me. In order to do this, history textbooks and CNN will not suffice. Go out with a strong yearning to educate yourself with the truth. I am only 19 years, so I know fully well I still have a lot to learn, but I see all people EQUALLY; more than I can say for you.

    Maybe then, you can understand the world a bit better and deal with the self-hate that is so evident in this article and even moreso in yourself.

    Good luck,
    Norris

    • admin / Jul 17 2014 9:44 am

      If you read the article you would have realized that they had other boxes that featured single mothers or other ethnicities as well. In other words, they are trying to cater to everybody, the coupled and single people alike. Unfortunately, like too many Black people you choose to see someone trying to slight Black women (although it’s an accurate representation of the black woman’s plight – at least the ones who want NBABM) and cry racism.

      You’re right, you still have a lot to learn. I see reality and know the black community of today is nothing like those courageous people who upheld morals/values and lived more meaningful lives back then.

  7. Reasoning With Aurelia / Aug 17 2014 8:39 pm

    Wow!!! I can’t believe the amount of people getting upset over a package.

    Nevertheless, the author is correct. Black men are typically “sowing their oats” with women whom they have no intention of marrying. Even many of the Black men whom are married now “sowed their oats” in the past but were just fortunate that it did not result in an unwanted child. Most educated Black men become upset when someone merely points out a reality, but how many of these sensitive Black men are waiting or have waited for marriage? Even so, how many of them have been in less than three instances of intimacy of any kind before marriage? I’m sure that those numbers are very small.

    Before Black men (and women) get upset over the statistics or try to prove that they are married to a wonderful Black man or that their parents marriages lasted, they need to find out the number of men that thoroughly “sowed their oats” before marriage. I’m sure that these “protesters” will find that they were merely “lucky” in the fact that their fathers did not have children out of wedlock before marrying their mothers, because most of them engaged heavily in pre-marital acts and the acts did not produce children by chance.

    Regardless, men of ANY culture should consider marriage before considering the possibility of pre-marital acts to reduce the chances of having an unwanted child.

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