OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:15 AM – Monday, January 22, 2024
Swedish clothing company H&M, who has hundreds of stores all throughout the U.S., is facing backlash from the public and social media users after it released an advertisement for school uniforms that allegedly sexualizes young children, along with a “highly inappropriate” caption, according to detractors.
The H&M advertisement showcased an image of two young girls of elementary school age, who look to be twins, dressed in the H&M school uniforms.
The advertisement’s caption says, “Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion.”
Melinda Tankard Reist, an Australian writer whose work deals with sexualization and the negative effects of pornography, was one of the first users on social media to criticize the advertisement.
“What is your intention with this sponsored Facebook ad?” Reist shared on X. “Little schoolgirls generally don’t want to ‘turn heads.’ The large numbers I engage with in schools want to be left alone to learn and have fun and not draw unwanted attention to their appearance.”
The advertisement received much backlash after online users, as well as many parents, maintained that it was inappropriate and sexualized children. Several users regarded the advertisement as “creepy,” “disturbing,” and brought up their own stories about “being ogled” while in elementary school.
“What the hell is going on? This is sickening, sexualizing kids,” one social media user wrote on X (Twitter).
“It’s disheartening to hear about the H&M Australia Back to School ad causing outrage among parents,” another user wrote. “The caption used in the ad seems highly inappropriate and insensitive. Brands should prioritize responsible advertising, especially when it involves children.”
H&M has now taken down the advertisement and has publicly apologized.
“We have removed this ad,” the Swedish fashion brand announced to the press. “We are deeply sorry for the offense this has caused and we are looking into how we present campaigns going forward.”
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