BLACK DOLLS & OTHER HYPER-TRADITIONAL WORLDVIEWS

Again it’s that time of the year in Belgium the Santa-Claus and his right hand, Piet, are coming. This tradition involves an other tradition the last years: the discussion about this ‘Piet’. Piet is the black helper of Santa-Claus. The question now is: is this racist and what should we do with this children feast? This year there was a consensus: instead of black Piet, there is ‘soot Piet’ now. He has black wipes because of climbing the chimney, but still the discussion isn’t closed yet.

Today I read about what Santa-Claus would bring this year to all the brave kids. Would he bring us all hyper-traditional worldviews?

These are not my words. Tom De Cock, radio maker wrote an article on his blog about this topic.

He detected the sticker ‘ethic’ on a packaging of a black doll. On store shelves there are the three exact same dolls but each with a different skin colour. On the packaging of the with doll was no sticker, but the 2 others packaging carried the label ‘ethic’.

I asked myself what the added value is of this sticker. Why is this necessary? If the black doll is ethic, the with doll is ethic as well, right?!

It continued. Tom found more examples of this weird labelling on toys. The store announced some black dolls as a ‘happy doll family from Africa’. Tom makes, in my eyes, the right remark: if the white dolls get the same announcements like ‘happy family from Oostende’.

Especially in 2016 in Belgium it is outdated to use this kind of labelling. There is such a wide range of cultural, ethnic, and personal differences in the population. These dolls should be a reflection of the society.

I totally agree with Tom’s opinion. He says that these stores sell what the costumers want to buy. I would like do remark that we should look at ourselves and be aware of our, maybe not, so open minded thoughts. An other example of these hyper-traditional worldviews we find on clothes.

Below I would like to share the link of the blog from Tom De Cock

Tom’s blog

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