Because I don’t say “I hate it here” enough times per day (my current count is at least 10 so far today alone), Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein was caught selling Swastika necklaces on their site. And before you ask, no, this is not one of those situations where it kind of looks like a Swastika if you squint and cock your head to the side—they were blatantly selling a product they called “Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace” and it was exactly as the name describes.
Marissa Casey Grossman aka @fashionambitionist on Instagram pointed out the product’s existence in a post to her Instagram feed, writing, “I have zero words” and calling the necklace “ABSOLUTELY disgusting”. Other influential Instagrammers like @influencerstruth and @condeblast blasted Shein for their decision to produce and sell a swastika necklace. The listing is no longer active, and Shein has since apologized.
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HOLY FUCK. I have zero words. I will NEVER be buying from @sheinofficial @shein_us EVER again. This is a company that I’ve bought from so much over the years and to see this is ABSOLUTELY disgusting. I didn’t believe this when I saw it— so did a simple search on their site. And, there it was. @diet_prada “Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace Check out this Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace on Shein and explore more to meet your fashion needs! https://api-shein.shein.com/h5/sharejump/appsharejump?currency=USD&lan=en&id=1385709&share_type=goods&site=iosshus “
Some users pointed out in the comments that the swastika has long been a symbol of good luck and fortune in other cultures, and the Nazis appropriated it. Indeed, a Shein spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the necklace was not a Nazi swastika, but “a Buddhist swastika which has symbolized spirituality and good fortune for more than a thousand years.” They added that the Nazi swastika has a different design and is pointed at an angle. Let’s just hope the people looking to buy that $2.50 necklace knew that—but either way, a global company with over 11 million followers on Instagram should have known better.
This isn’t the first time Shein came under fire for selling religious items, either. The necklace controversy comes less than a week after Shein briefly listed Muslim prayer mats and attempted to sell them as decorative rugs on their site. The mats were taken down almost immediately and the company quickly issued an apology on their Instagram, writing that they “vow to do a much better job in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions.” Clearly that promise hasn’t panned out.
Over the weekend, anti-Semitism was in the news when DeSean Jackson, the wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, posted a quote that he attributed to Hitler.
The statements that Jews plan to “extort America” and “achieve world dominations” are illustrations of a harmful stereotype that claims Jews control things like the banks, media, U.S. government, and have plots to take over the world. The stereotype dates back to the 19th century and has been used to scapegoat Jews for complex problems in the world.
After receiving backlash for the post, Jackson issued two apologies. He initially claimed, “Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way. I have no hatred in my heart towards no one!!” Ok, sure, but what exactly was the right way to take that quote?
In a later apology on his Instagram, he wrote, “I unintentionally hurt the Jewish community in the process and for that I am sorry!” He added, “This apology is more than just words – it is a promise to do better. I will fully educate myself and work with local and national organizations to be more informed and make a difference in our community.”
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Despite his claim that he didn’t intend to hurt Jews with the quote, I have to wonder how any quote attributed to Hitler that explicitly references Jews could not, by definition, hurt Jews. I mean, that was kind of Hitler’s whole thing. (Also, for what it’s worth, the quote is probably not even from Hitler, but that’s the least problematic aspect of all of this.)
The Philadelphia Eagles released a statement calling the messages he shared “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling” and offering a vague promise to “take appropriate action”.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 7, 2020
Finally, to round out this horrible list, the Trump campaign is selling shirts with a design that is reminiscent of that of the official symbol of the Nazi party. Of course they are. See for yourself:
The President of the United States is campaigning for reelection with a Nazi symbol. Again.
On the left: an official Trump/Pence “America First” tee.
On the right; the Iron Eagle, the official symbol of the Nazi party.
⁰It’s not an accident. Bigotry is their entire brand. pic.twitter.com/mSOBxwf7Wa
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) July 1, 2020
After receiving backlash for it, the Trump campaign issued the biggest non-apology of all time. In an email to Forbes, Trump’s 2020 communications director wrote, “in Democrats’ America, Mount Rushmore glorifies white supremacy and the bald eagle with an American flag is a Nazi symbol. They have lost their minds.”
First of all, the complaints about this shirt have nothing to do with Mount Rushmore, but ok, and nice gaslighting on the anti-Semitism concerns. This comes after Facebook removed Trump campaign ads contained an image of a red upside down triangle, a symbol used by Nazis to identify political prisoners in concentration camps. At this point, it’s hard to believe the Trump campaign does not know exactly what they are doing with these kinds of graphics, and honestly, I’m just surprised Facebook actually did something about Nazis on their platform for once.
The Shein rep told Buzzfeed, “As a multicultural and global brand, we want to apologize profusely to those who are offended, we are sensitive to these issues and want to be very clear that we in no way support or condone racial, cultural and religious prejudice or hostility.” They added, “We are actively working through our internal structure and processes to resolve these issues, including a product review committee to ensure that we respect our diverse community.”
Currently, according to Shein’s own website, products are first conceptualized by designers, and after manufacturing go through a “rigorous” quality assurance” phase. Regardless of whether or not you buy the apology, you should probably stop shopping at Shein anyway. The company has been accused of ripping off indie designers and their clothes fall apart after one wash. It’s also a fast-fashion company, and while they claim to support fair labor practices and sustainability, fast-fashion companies in general have contributed to massive pollution and waste and committed human rights abuses.
Images: Shein; 0ne0fone (2), fashionambitionist / Instagram
If you spend a lot of time reading Betches articles, chances are you have a pretty solid amount of pop culture knowledge. From Bachelor Nation to the Kardashians, you’re probably the source of all things celeb news in your group chat. And like, same. But no matter how much Access Hollywood you watch, we all have blind spots. And if you were born before the late ’90s, your biggest blind spot is probably literally everything about Gen-Z.
Gen-Z celebrity culture is a wild mix of YouTubers, hot people from Netflix shows and movies, and people who maybe used to be on a Disney Channel show, but I’m not actually sure. Luckily, the good people at BuzzFeed know how little you know, and they put together a handy quiz about all the biggest Gen-Z celebs. For each question, they show you a celeb photo, and you have to pick the right name from three choices. It’s harder than it sounds.
The quiz is 100 questions long, but they promise that “Only a Gen Z’er can make it past level 40.” Basically, you’ll be done quickly, especially if you don’t know who any of these people are. Some of the questions aren’t that bad, but they’re mixed in with names that seriously sound like you put them through a random generator.
Things get going on a pretty easy note, if you pay literally any attention to what’s happening in the world.
Really, one of the best parts of this whole quiz is the fake name options they come up with. I’m still not over William Eyelash, which I have been told by my younger cousin is Billie Eilish’s government name.
The first few questions are mostly pretty easy, but the first real curveball comes at question seven, which at least half a dozen people in the Betches office couldn’t get past this morning. Do you recognize this man?? I’m not going to spoil it here, but go read my article explaining wtf TikTok is if you want a little help.
No, that’s not Josh Peck, and shame on you if you thought it was.
For me, the hardest of the quiz is probably that I absolutely can’t be bothered to watch Stranger Things or 13 Reasons Why, and that’s apparently all people born after 1998 care about. There are some things I’m simply not meant to know or care about. Still, I was able to make it into the 50s the first time I took the quiz. Luckily, it lets you retry the last question you missed, so you don’t have to start over if you really just want to know who the kids are talking about.
The quiz is both a fun learning experience and a walk down memory lane of celebrity hot messes, with fun appearances from the likes of James Charles, Tana Mongeau, and Bella Thorne. Oh yeah, and quick reminder that Ariel Winter looked like this at some point:
Maybe this is the sleep deprivation talking, but I could’ve sworn that was Isla Fisher.
I personally recommend that you stick with the quiz till the end, even if it takes a few tries. Once you get past the first 50, you’re in true word salad territory, with collections of words that could be names or fictional creatures in books—your guess is as good as mine. Example:
I really have to applaud BuzzFeed for this one, because I haven’t stressed this much over an online quiz since I took government class online in high school so I could get an extra study hall period. This quiz really is an improvement from their typical “Choose A Picture Of Garlic Bread And We’ll Tell You What Career Path You Should Choose” quizzes they’ve been doing a lot of lately.
My advice? Go for the best score you can, then drop it in the group text so you can see how clueless all your friends are. Bonus points if you get your whole office to take it so you can spend an hour not working. You might never truly know who all of these Gen-Z stars are, but at least you’ll have something to talk about with your teenage cousins when you see them at Thanksgiving.
Images: Shutterstock; BuzzFeed (4)
In case your creative writing major friends haven’t been talking about it nonstop, a lot of sh*t has been going down in the online publishing world. On Friday, January 25, BuzzFeed laid off “seven members of the national desk, the six-person national security team and the two journalists covering health. All but two members of the entertainment team were laid off and all but one on the L.B.G.T. desk. There were no cuts to the technology, politics or investigations teams,” according to the New York Times.
One legendary ex-BuzzFeed employee, Jason Sweeten, wreaked havoc on his previous employer in a way we all wish we shadily could. Earlier this morning (at 10:36am to be exactly), Sweeten took to his previous company’s website to troll the viral media company the best way he knew how: a quiz. Sweeten’s goal was to help current BuzzFeed employees determine whether or not they actually still have a job. After 5 1/2 years of employment, Sweeten understands the nuances of working at BuzzFeed and provided a great guide for his confused, sad, and angry ex-coworkers.
As of June 2018, Sweeten “was Creative, Creative Manager, and Senior Creative Lead, Quizzes at BuzzFeed from 2013 to 2018. During his tenure, Jason wrote countless sponsored posts, including one of their first viral, branded quizzes. He also spent several years managing teams of creatives, eventually overseeing branded quizzes and helping launch BuzzFeed’s mini-quiz ad product,” according to his personal website. Anyone working in media or having any sort of job ever, can relate to what sparked this sweet, sweet viral quiz.
But how did he get something like this ON BuzzFeed’s website? Their contributing platform allows for people to post content directly without going through any on the editorial team. So will this quiz still be live after the higher ups catch wind? It doesn’t matter because we’ve screenshotted the entire thing dissected for your enjoyment.
Is it worse to have worked there for longer or less time? Either way it really sucks.
Confused? Overwhelmed? Scattered? Welcome to working in media.
She probably got fired.
Talk about boosting company morale.
We vote for option D.
Sometimes we have to face the hard hitting fact that we are living in a time when the state of our president’s disastrous toupé is considered news. Sorry, but we all need a good spirit lift, especially on a Friday, and images of Trump’s busted wig do the trick. Buzzfeed was considerate enough to bless the internet with a compilation of photos of the president boarding Air Force One on a windy day. His “hair” was flip-flap-flopping all over the GD place, if you can believe. Here are some of the photos. You’re welcome to your love of shade throwing, and I’m sorry to your eyeballs
The Surf’s Up!
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 5, 2018
The Great Plateau
i have no words pic.twitter.com/ex9Mrrlpw8
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 5, 2018
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful!
watching his hair blow in the wind is honestly hypnotic pic.twitter.com/k82Kl37Ejq
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 5, 2018
Trump has money. That’s like, his whole thing. So why doesn’t he just buy a better wig? Why doesn’t he just embrace nature, go with god, and go bald? Why was he elected to be the leader of the free world? Am I living in a nightmare? Will I ever wake up? These are the Q’s that I have.
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Images: Twitter (3)