Family car stickers angers visible minority groups
By Aidan Mouellic, Minivan Maven
Chances are that if you live in the suburbs, you’ve seen the new trend of stickers, which depict one’s family, being affixed to the rear windows of SUVs and minivans. The stickers are white stick people outlines of each family member, and often depict wholesome hobbies that the family participates in—such as skiing, hunting, and playing paintball.
The stickers have spread like wildfire and the majority of people find them cute and homely, but this past week, two groups have spoken out against the trend. The groups crying foul are the Canadian Eating Disorders Society (CEDS) and the Canadian Visible Minorities Collective (CVMC).
Both groups are raising issues that run along a similar tone: that the stickers depict an unhealthy characterization of Canadian families. Brian Holickson, a spokesperson for CEDS, says that his organization is primarily concerned that the stickers depict families with bodies that are unhealthy and which promote ludicrous levels of skinniness. Holickson says, “These stickers do not depict real Canadian families. They depict families which are suffering with malnutrition and likely eating disorders. They are too thin and portray unhealthy ideals.”
CVMC, the other group which has voiced concerns about the stickers, is more concerned about how the stickers represent visible minorities. The group claims that the stickers promote racial cleansing of Canada, citing the fact that all of the stickers depict fully Caucasian families. Shanikwe Williams, a spokesperson for CVMC, says, “The family stickers are racist. They only depict white families, and the underlying message of the stickers is clearly that of white pride.”
The company that manufactures the stickers, Stickers International, says, “The stickers are not meant to promote a certain type of family make-up, they are merely meant to promote reproduction and unity—we are anti-divorce and like to see families stick together… on windows.”
When we told CVMC of the company’s statement, they did not believe it. Williams claims that, “If they want to promote reproduction with their stickers, who’s to say that they are not trying to promote being white? Where are the African-Canadian family stickers? Where are the Chinese-Canadian family stickers? There aren’t any, because of racism.”
When Stickers International was asked about this possibility, they told us that “the dye is too expensive, we can only afford to make white stickers since no extra dye is needed.” CVMC refuses to accept this explanation, and maintains that Stickers International is a racist corporation.
Both groups hope for change. CEDS’s Holickson wants the stickers to represent families with healthy Body Mass Indexes (BMI), since the sticker families’ current BMIs are “at a point where death is imminent.”
The family stickers that are adorning cars in suburbs around the world are sparking a surprising debate about body image and racism. CEDS and CVMC have launched online petitions asking for Canadians to vote for change.