Amazon Listing for Swimsuit With Slogan ‘Hella Black Hella Proud’ On White Model Taken Down Following Backlash

Hella Black Hella Proud Swimsuit

by Emily Watkins |
Published on

I don’t know what anyone thought was going to happen, here. To get you up to speed – Twitter user DreamSeekersTalentMgmt spotted an apparent disconnect, between medium and message if you will, on a ‘Hella Black Hella Proud’ swimsuit modelled by the whitest woman in the world. It’s not satire, though it’s certainly laughable – while it wasn’t until Friday that brand ZBBRDD’s listing came under public scrutiny, various innocents had stumbled across the bizarre post before then. As you might imagine, its reviews were written from inevitable stances of offended bafflement (‘would it have been to hard to find someone who’s actually Hella black and Hella Proud!!’; ‘UMMM, WHERE DO I START? HOW ABOUT GET SOMEONE AFRICAN AMERICAN TO MODEL THIS DAMN SWIM SUIT?’). I am both delighted and sorry to tell you – it gets weirder.

Melanin Poppin, Black and Dope Swimsuits

In this story’s next chapter, the mystery is both illuminated and deepened. The Hella Black and Hella Proud swimsuit is not alone. Would that it were. No – on the contrary, there are plenty of white-lady-inappropriate colourways and other slogans to choose from. These include ‘Melanin Poppin’’ and ‘Black and Dope’, all pictured not only on the same model but in the same photo – it seems that ZBBRDD doctored a stock image for each version, mindlessly copy pasting with no regard for context. Best case scenario is that they didn’t think the strategy through: otherwise, we’d have to presume they didn’t care.

In 2017, t-shirts on Zazzle's site caused similar uproar

Back in 2017, clothing website Zazzle came under fire in a similar furore, wherein white men and women appeared to model t-shirts proclaiming ‘unapologetically black’, ‘angry black woman’ and ‘melanin on fleek’ amongst others. After twitter had a field day, Zazzle told HuffPost that it offers designers various pre-posed model shots ‘upon which their design is placed. It’s always possible that gender, race and other attributes of the model do not match up to the specifics of the design, given the ratio of our millions of designs to the 100 or so T-shirt styles we offer.’ So: Zazzle didn’t decide to pop those t-shirts on white models – though the presumable lack of diverse options for stock photos means the platform users probably didn’t have much choice. At the time, Zazzle committed to ‘working on an interim fix that doesn’t mismatch out-of-context content to models’, but it seems that ZBBRDD didn’t get the memo. A computer glitch, or a woeful blunder? Either way, their now-infamous Amazon listing’s down. Thankfully, you can buy the swimsuit modelled by someone more appropriate from

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