When I saw Shea Moisture’s new #BREAKTHEWALLS commercial I was so incredibly moved. I can’t even explain the inspiration I felt. I watched it a few times because I was almost in disbelief that Shea Moisture would tackle an all too familiar experience in such a bold way! The experience described has been so internalized and ingrained that many just accept it as the norm, and of course, I know this experience. I live it, as do many others.
The innovative, revolutionary way of thinking depicted in the commercial is fuel for a humble business owner like myself. I started Coco’Pie Clothing for this very reason. A vibrant Tshirt line inspired by children of color, my very own to be exact. Natural hair tees for babies, kids and women. Diversity in apparel feels non-existent. Sure we may find Princess Tiana but what else is there available in mainstream retail outlets? The fact that me and probably you too can only name one design in mainstream retail stores that show black girls is even more so problematic. Quite often there isn’t an aisle or a bottom shelf to go to. There’s just nothing. When will we also #BreakTheWalls in fashion retail?
On one occasion we did come across something, years back. My daughter found a shirt with a brown girl on it at 3 yrs old. She was ecstatic and said, “mommy that’s me!” She wore this shirt to no end. When we returned, the clerk mentioned the design was “seasonal”, and obviously there were no others.
Now when little girls receive my Tshirts they beam with pride, and it’s a full circle moment when I hear them also say “Mommy that’s Me!” They put the stickers that come with the shirt on the nearest thing they can find, which is usually their shirts, lol . After that, they listen while Mom or Dad reads their special hand-written note.
To the people behind the Shea Moisture’s campaign, I say “I salute you. I support you, and I stand with you – in the beauty aisle, (not the ethnic aisle) where you’ve always belonged. You’ve inspired me to push so much harder and for that I thank you!
What other subliminal barriers (walls) have caught your attention?