A Popular Website Had White People Model “Melanin Poppin’” Shirts, and People Are Pissed

"What melanin???"

Redbubble, a popular website designers use to sell their work, is catching heat on the Internet for using white models to advertise T-shirts that boast phrases like “Melanin Poppin’” and “Curls Popping.” In 2016, ish like this is still happening.

Now, in the website’s defense, the models are automated and randomly selected. However, that hasn’t stopped social media users from taking shots at Redbubble. Take a look at some of these pointed responses–and the whack model/T-shirt pairings that prompted them.

Yes, that’s a white boy you see wearing a “Melanin Poppin'” T-shirt, and that’s a white girl sporting the “Curls Popping” tee.

BuzzFeed News reached out to one of the shirt’s designers Madisyn Mahagoni, who originally said the model mix-up wasn’t a big deal to her but eventually began a forum on Redbubble’s site discussing the issue.

“There needs to be people of color across the board but you also have to give major credit to Redbubble for making changes and listening to our voices, and they have added a brown girl who has a mini afro,” she said. And she’s right. Check out the Black model the site had model the “Been Black Been Cool” shirt. That’s more like it.


Appropriation, even the automated kind, isn’t cool.