Is Baby-Sling Photo a Slight to Black Women?

Twitter screenshot 
Twitter screenshot 

Updated Monday, June 23, 6:30 p.m. EDT: Baby K’Tan has responded to the backlash they’ve received from people online with the following blog post:

It has come to our attention that there is a misleading photo circulating around the internet. Our company takes these matters very seriously and wishes to address them without any further delay.

The photo in question shows two Baby K’tan Baby Carriers on the shelf at an unidentified retailer. One Baby K’tan product features an African American woman holding her baby, and the other Baby K’tan product features a Caucasian couple with their baby. This portrayal has left many of our loyal patrons concerned that this is an unfair representation of African American families. Furthermore, the box bearing the African American woman was inaccurately priced lower than the box with the Caucasian couple. Let’s address these pressing matters head on:

1) We have a total of 5 different products, each featuring a different image on the front of the packaging. One box has the Caucasian couple on the front, and the other four boxes have individual mothers with their babies on the front (including African American and Caucasian women).

2) The Baby K’tan product featuring the African American woman is from our organic line which should actually be priced higher than the other product displayed.

3) The couple considered to be Caucasian is actually in fact an international couple, featuring a Caucasian mom and a Hispanic dad.

Our company was built and has prospered because of our focus on diversity and inclusion. We wholeheartedly reject any false, unfounded and baseless claims of discrimination as depicted in the above misrepresentation. We here at Baby K’tan fully support exposing any unfair and inaccurate stereotypes, racism and/or discrimination wherever it may exist.

We plan to continue including diverse parents, both individually and as couples, throughout our images. In fact, we are proud to have such wholesome and loving caregivers as the faces of our company.



Nothing gets past the eyes of those on social media, even if it’s not that easy to recognize at first. For example, take a look at the photo above of two baby slings made by Baby K’Tan.

Notice anything odd, or different?

Baby K’Tan’s marketing department seems to be OK with portraying the white woman with a man, as part of a couple, but having the black woman shot as a single parent. Those who have noticed the differences have taken to Twitter to show their disgust with the company:

But maybe people are overreacting?

On Baby K’Tan’s Twitter and Facebook profiles, there are photos depicting women of various backgrounds holding their children in slings.

Illustration for article titled Is Baby-Sling Photo a Slight to Black Women?

Some people feel that the portrayal of a black woman as a single parent on the packaging speaks volumes about how black women are perceived in advertising and society. Baby K’Tan has yet to respond to the questions directed to it on Twitter.


Question of the day: Do you think the ad is a slight to black women, or are people making a big deal about nothing?

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.