Tesco has issued an apology after receiving backlash for selling a children’s t-shirt that said a black mermaid’s hair was “too fluffy”.
The t-shirt reads, “That’s not my mermaid… her hair is too fluffy” and the item was flagged by a Mum in Dover who reported it to Kent Live news.
Katie Wells told Kent Live, “We were walking down the main middle aisle and we saw the set from a distance. I got excited because diversity in clothing is particularly rare. I read the text on the shirt and was really shocked. It’s not something any child should read on a t-shirt, and it perpetuates a stereotype. It’s racism.”
The image is taken from a series of Usborne books that feature different materials for children to touch and feel in order to encourage sensory development. The image on the t-shirt is taken from one of the book’s alternative covers.
However, due to the placement of the text with the black mermaid, the t-shirt, of course, speaks to the discrimination and hair politics that black women frequently experience.
Those with textured hair often experience discrimination in schools and the workplace and mainstream beauty standards also tend to solely praise straighter hair and European styles.
A spokesperson for Tesco said in a statement, “We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Tesco is a place where everybody is welcome and apologise for any offence caused. We will not be purchasing any more orders of this product.”