Balenciaga Fired Kanye For a Tweet. What Do They Deserve for Sexualizing Children? | Opinion

The fashion brand Balenciaga is facing an intense backlash due to a recent advertising campaign that featured young children and bondage-clad teddy bears. Now the brand is looking to atone and seeking our forgiveness in the process. But as more and more details come to light, many are asking the question: Why in the hell do they deserve it?

Since Tuesday, the brand has issued not one but two separate apologies addressing the scandal. "We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused," reads an initial post on Balenciaga's Instagram. "Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms."

But it wasn't just the teddy bears. A separate marketing campaign featured copies of the 2002 Supreme Court case Williams v. United States, which dealt with the distribution of child pornography. Another image featured the name of a convicted pedophile.

Hence the second apology, in which Balenciaga announced it would be pursuing legal action against those who were involved.

How Balenciaga intends to pursue legal action against itself remains a mystery.

The whole story is deeply disturbing. How did an ad promoting the sexualization of children get green lit by the hundreds if not thousands of people involved in a massive ad campaign from a brand like Balenciaga?

It's horrifying. Yet sadly, it's not surprising, given the climate we're in. Because the truth is, Balenciaga is not apologizing because they are sorry. They are apologizing because they did something they assumed would be completely fine with their consumers—and found out too late that it wasn't. And they thought it would be completely fine because so many cues in leftist culture conveyed that.

I often find myself these days thinking of Nelson Mandela's commentary, that the true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children. What does it say about our society that we expose young children to drag shows before they're old enough to even understand what they're witnessing? What does it say about our society that we allow young children to undergo physical changes to their bodies before they're old enough to understand the life-long consequences of the choices they're about to make?

Balenciaga

What does it say about our society that we sexualize young children, so often and so acceptingly, that a major fashion brand thought they could just simply get away with doing it to sell handbags?

Balenciaga got caught out—but perhaps as bad as the ad campaigns was the fact that they were surprised that this wouldn't fly.

And now they are seeking not forgiveness and grace.

It's ironic because there was no grace for Kanye West after a series of controversial comments. Balenciaga cut ties with Kanye without thinking twice. Balenciaga was also one of the first to virtue signal by deleting their Twitter account following Elon Musk's acquisition of the tech giant.

"Balenciaga seems to be cutting problematic people out of its life," cheered Fortune.

How ironic that it was Elon Musk who has made cracking down on child porn on Twitter "Priority #1" while Balenciaga is out here creating it.

Balenciaga is asking for our forgiveness but they do not deserve it. Balenciaga is asking for patronage. They should not have it. Balenciaga is asking for our grace. Never have they given it, nor have they earned it.

How we treat our children reveals the true character of a society. So does how we protect them. This is where we can start: by treating Balenciaga with the rigor it treated others, and sending a message loud and clear that it's not ok to treat children like this.

C.J. Pearson is the president of Free Thinker Project.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

Updated 11/25/22, 4:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to clarify that there were two separate Balenciaga campaigns.