By Dhani Mau
Apparently, Forever 21 thinks that people want to wear outdated, cultural stereotypes as necklaces, and that it’s okay to sell them. Unfortunately, it gets worse. Later, I perused their website and found that one of the necklaces is literally called “Oriental Girl Necklace.” Seriously. Because why not slap on an offensive and outdated descriptor to your offensive culturally-insensitive jewelry?
Given this evidence, what about the Native necklace? Well, you can cross the "honoring Indians" justification off the list. There's no way you can spin "Oriental Girl" as honoring Asian cultures. The Native necklace is equally dishonorable.
So what was Forever 21 thinking? Apparently, that Indians and Asians really look like this. And that it's okay to sell these stereotypical images.
It would be exactly like selling Aunt Jemima or Uncle Tom necklaces. Or white hillbilly necklaces, for that matter. Are those products coming next, or is Forever 21 already selling them?
The products themselves are stereotypical. The fact that Forever 21 is targeting only certain minorities with these stereotypes is racist.
For more on Forever 21, see Columbus Day at the Westfield Mall and Forever 21's Columbus Day Sale.