Gap recently launched their GapKids x ED campaign, a collaboration with Ellen Degeneres that features young girls doing incredible things.
There is 8‑year-old Livia, one of the world’s youngest DJs, Logan, a 12-year-old B‑girl, Asleigh, a 13-year-old wildlife photographer and four members of the humanitarian acrobatic troupe Le Petit Cirque.
The campaign is cute, for sure, but it’s the picture used to portray Le Petit Cirque that is raising eyebrows.
All the members of the troupe strike poses that exemplify confidence or skill. All except Lucy, the young black girl and the only black girl in the campaign, who is literally used as an armrest as she stands with an unenthusiastic expression on her face.
That Lucy is an afterthought is even more evident in the accompanying video for the ad launch. Sitting in the back row, Lucy is the only troupe member not caught on camera speaking.
It is disappointing that they did not do this talented little black girl justice, especially given how much black girl magic is overflowing today. There is 9‑year-old Anaya Lee Willabus from Brooklyn, the youngest published author of a chapter book, or 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer whose BeeSweet Lemonade just landed a multi-million dollar Whole Foods deal, 14-year-old Mo’ne Davis, the first girl to earn a win and to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series , and 12-year-old twins Imani and Nia who won a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre’s prestigious summer program.
But, by the looks of this campaign, Gap wasn’t particularly interested in making little black girls feel empowered.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?