A recent GAP kids clothing advert has sparked controversy around passive racism through the positioning of the girls in the shot. In light of the public reaction the company is withdrawing the advert.
Some commentators have compared the image in question with an older advert where there is a different positioning.
With one glance, a key difference between the older ad and the current one is the girls' attitude.
Whatever side of the race debate you take, it is clear that the current advert lacks all of the sass and personality of the older advert. The current kids look bored. Are they supposed to be serene and yoga zen? Apart from the upside down girl, they look pretty miserable.
Are these passive, physically contorted, bored creatures what it means to be a girl today? Is this what GAP is selling Western girls? In retrospect, it looked pretty cool being a girl who could afford to buy GAP clothes in the 90s - knee socks, girl power, skateboards and attitude. Surely GAP would do better if they crank up the Cyndi Lauper at the photo shoot next time - Girls (of every demographic) Wanna Have Fun.
Four young friends posing playfully for the camera? Another forgettable marketing campaign? Or a glaring example of a type of passive racism that persists across corporate America? That's the debate that's been playing out online in response to an advert for a new clothing line - a collaboration between Gap and Ellen DeGeneres. The advert has provoked such stinging criticism that the company has now apologised and said it will pull the image from its campaign. It's the tall white girl resting her arm on the head of the shorter black girl that has triggered the controversy. For some it's insulting and, if not intentionally racist, at least reflective of a lack of thought on Gap's part (hence the term "passive" racism).