By Alonda Williams
By Krystal Clark from Blavity
What this 1-year-old and his excitement over diapers can teach us about representation
Ben and his Diapers
Who needs friends when you have a pack of diapers? Florida native Rose Bennett was shocked and slightly amused to discover her son Ben’s new BFF. Ben is a 1-year-old who’s grown to love his diapers, thanks to a familiar figure.
The young model featured on the diaper package is black with curly hair. Ben saw himself in the baby’s face and immediately became enamored.
Bennett tried to explain the situation to Ben, but it was too late. “I told him it wasn’t him but he insisted on dragging the diapers around and hugging them,” she told the Huffington Post. Ben became so dedicated that his mother began documenting their adventures on social media.
This is a cute story about an adorable child that opens up a larger conversation. You’ve heard it countless times before, “Representation matters.” It’s a fact that’s not lost on Bennett. “I think he became so attached because he’s never seen another baby that looks like him on packaging for diapers.”
“Representation is more important than we think,” she continued. “I want to see other babies that look like him, so he knows there are others and that it is possible for him to be a baby model, as well.”
We live in a world where minorities are disproportionately represented in media. With a few exceptions, the film world continues to maintain the status quo of white male protagonists. In 2015, the University of California did a study on the ethnic and racial makeup of 2014’s top 100 films.
The stunning result? Only 17 featured a non-white lead or co-lead. When you read that, it’s no surprise children like Ben would gravitate towards something as simple as a photo on a pack of diapers. When you see yourself in the world it’s a form of validation. It means you matter.
Yes, self-love is important. You shouldn’t allow outsiders to dictate how you feel. But that doesn’t excuse the blatant disregard for the different races and faces that make up our society. You exist.