The “Potty Mouthed Princesses” campaign from the activism-inspired T-shirt manufacturers at FCKH8.com caused a stir when it launched last month. To some, it was offensive and unnecessary; to others, it was a smart acknowledgment that little kids swearing is adorable. Regardless, the little girls who dressed as princesses and said “fuck” a lot to prove a point about sexism went viral quickly–either from celebratory sharing by people who found their candor refreshing, or via hate-shares from people who were offended at the company that dressed little girls as princesses and then put them in front of a fucking camera.
This time around, FCKH8 has upped the ante in terms of making people uncomfortable thinking about the people in the world who might exploit a little girl (a group that might reasonably be said to include the people behind the FCKH8 campaign). In the new video, the stats that the girls cite are built around domestic violence, and they’re not just swearing–they’re wearing makeup intended to look like bruises and black eyes. “Got a problem of looking at my fake, fucked-up face?” One little girl asks. “Isn’t one out of four women beaten the real disgrace?” her friends reply.
The ad might open FCKH8–which has courted controversy among those on all sides of the political spectrum–to accusations of hypocrisy. It opens, for example, with a shot of a little boy (who was presumably praised for his performance by the adults around him) making a violent, sexist joke to the camera, while the girls’ conclusion that people should “quit bitching about us saying ‘fuck’ and do something about it” seems to ignore that using the word “bitch” in that context is probably not helpful to the overall point of “stop demeaning women.” But the campaign certainly catches your attention, and anything that brings home the reality of domestic violence is probably a valuable contribution to the discourse–and will probably sell some extra fucking T-shirts, too.