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Curly Nikki

Forever 21 ‘I Love My Hair’ Tank

By January 27th, 202179 Comments

Forever 21 'I Love My Hair' Tank

Celeste wrote in and shared that Forever 21 has our shirt…cute, right? But something is definitely different about her, no? Wish she came in all shades of beautiful.

Priced at $13.80, will you get one?

**Don’t remember ‘I Love My Hair’? Check out my interview with Joey Mazzarino, the man behind the Muppet.**


  • StephMarie says:

    You all sound ignorant! I LOVE the shirt and will be purchasing one because the character happens to look like me AND my daughter. Your comments are personally offensive because my daughter and I both are…(wait for it)….BLACK! So are my parents, grandparents and so on. Black people come in all shades from pale white to damn near indigo. Make your own if you are that insecure and hung up on color! #overit

  • Anonymous says:

    does anyone know where this shirt can be found to be purchased?

  • Anonymous says:

    I see where all you ladies are coming from…its obvious that the muppets skin tone was changed. Buts also obvious that the muppet is African American.
    My mom did the whole "no white doll" thing when I was a child as well. Im thankful for that.
    I hadnt purchsed this tee yet because on another website it was $30 PLUS s&h…but for $13 and XXI charges $6 s&h ????? Um…yea. I just can seem to find it on the site

  • Anonymous says:

    what is the product number for this shirt?

  • Anonymous says:

    Stefanie, can you tell me where exactly to order the tank from. I can't find it on forever21 website.

  • Unknown says:

    Actually, I have the shirt and the appearance is darker than it appears online. The blue of the shirt is a little darker (It's more of a denim blue) and the skintone is darker. She's not chocolate brown, more like a caramel which is fine with me.

  • MaidenTexas says:

    Maybe is just cheaper printing because on mighty fine's website she's a darker color.

    So I guess if u want a yella gurl got to forever 21 or if you want a mocha mami go to mighty fine 🙂

  • Bethanie says:

    I got my shirt and I rocked it proudly!! Everybody loved my shirt and more importantly I LOVED my shirt and I still and always will LOVE MY HAIR!!! by the way the shirt is no longer on the website because its all sold out and out of stock apparently some girls have no problem with the skintone change

  • Anonymous says:

    I have an idea!!! Let's ask the muppet what she thinks about all of this!!

    Honestly, I think there will be complaints if it's too dark or if it's too light. Can't please everybody. Or represent all of the beautiful shades of brown on one tshirt that probably cost $2 to make in some foreign country by the hands of some young girl that had her hair shaved so that someone can wear it as a weave.

  • Rory says:

    I emailed them and I've seen the shirt came down

  • Anonymous says:

    all this complaining over nothing wont help some of you are crying over the model being white..almost all the models are white on forever 21…. next time there wont be a shirt period ….thanks for complaining….companies arent going to deal with bullshit

  • Carmella_g says:

    I'm so disappointed. I've already voiced my concerns on the website. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

  • Anonymous says:

    I totally see the issue with the original Sesame Street character's skin tone being changed. But I also see this t-shirt representing African American, Latin, Middle-Eastern, even Caucasian, etc, girls/women with curly and/or afro-textured hair. So I can also see F21's intent being reaching a larger market. However, I feel that if they were going to change the skin color to represent not just darker skin tones, they could have made the character hot pink, purple, blue, or whatever color is not associated with any particular race. But, then again, I think that would have also raised some eyebrows because the original character was still changed.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wanted one until I realized the character was/is lightened. I feel like writing someone about this.

  • brunettefury says:

    Speaking of, I remember that the company who made the original shirt (featuring a model with straight blonde hair) realized their mistake after complaints and changed it to a curly girl:

    If people don't complain about the small things, nothing will change. We have to demand respect at a very basic level as well as strive for respect in the larger scope of things.

  • brunettefury says:

    Oh, so black women are making the black race as a whole look bad for complaining about white privilege?

    Color me surprised, I thought it was racism that was the cause of…you know, white privilege.

    FYI, the model that they used is someone white with STRAIGHT hair:

  • Anonymous says:

    I totally feel what Nikki said about not buying Gia a white Barbie doll. No offense to white folks! My mom stopped buying me white dolls early on because she noticed that I was afraid of the Black dolls for some reason. After that, she only bought me Black dolls. She wanted me to grow up with a healthy self-esteem and I have to say that she did the right thing. I definitely don't have any issues about my skin color at all. If I have a daughter, all of her baby dolls will look like her, too. It's a great way to teach your little girls self-love early in life.

  • Anonymous says:

    naaah i wont be getting one. too cheezy

  • Anonymous says:

    They also have a version here.

  • Anonymous says:

    I sent in a complaint to Forever 21’s customer service, I encourage anyone else who disagrees with the tee shirt to do the same!

    My email to F21:
    I was so very disappointed in your company when I logged onto a popular blog and saw a review of one of your newest products: Muppet Racerback Tank, Product Code: 2000016378. To see that the popular Sesame Street character has been lightened in your version on the tee shirt was just disheartening to the African American community. I'm not sure what message your company is trying to communicate when the color of a cartoon character is lightened so that it no longer represents the brown skinned girls that the original character was made to encourage? Why was the character not left with the rich brown color of the original? Does your company not recognize the beauty of brown skin? I hope you are aware of the effect that this kind of marketing has on young brown girls of all ethnicities.

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    Yeah, I'm getting one. I am light-skinned and I'm proud of who I am – a black woman.

  • Anonymous says:

    could not care less about the model but it really sucks that they lightened the face. It's not the COLOR they lightened it to, it's the fact that they lightened it to. You barely see people who are darker shown this way so yeah, it does hurt a bit…not sorry about it!

  • Anonymous says:

    please stop finding something to whine about… your making balck women look bad and giving us a bad name…i think its a nice shirt.and theres nothing wrong with she isnt dark enough or it doesnt come in different shades..what company would time in making multiple versions of this version is good enough because if they did make multiples someone will find something else to complain about.. this shirt is better than no stop whining

  • Candace4life says:

    Well they have this cute shirt on thirstyroots site, that I think is a cute one to buy whether for a adult or your child. I posted the link to it below and it's on pictures #3 and 4.
    Here's the page if you wanted to buy there shirts, and they also have a baby pink bodyshirt that is to precious.

  • Kimmie0810 says:

    And another thing, did anyone stop to think about this from a technical/textile perspective. On a white shirt, a darker skinned muppet would work. But on this color background it may not have turned out as well. Everything can't be labeled RACIST or DISCRIMINATORY without knowing the why & how of the matter.

  • Kimmie0810 says:

    I think some people are making an issue where there isn't one. I didn't think "light skinned" when I looked at the shirt until the complexion of the "muppet" was mentioned. I can clearly tell she's representing a black girl with a curly 'fro. Complexion has nothing to do with being black & I'm getting really sick of all the hooplah surrounding this issue!

    When Carol's Daughter announced the new "faces" of her brand, people were screaming "but they're all lightskinned" and making a big deal about it. It's ridiculous. I was more concerned that they all looked hideous in the promo photo. Now we're supposed to get riled up about the complexion of a puppet? Which is not much different from the original.

  • Anonymous says:

    I geting one! And if she's too light, I got brown paint at the house..

  • Raven says:

    It's sad to see this, but let's be honest, it's still evident that the muppet is black! What white person has hair like ours! [I mean that in a good way :)]

  • Anonymous says:

    SHUT UP! GOD! UGH seriously is it that hard to understand that F21's main clientele is white/hispanic/asian as well as black…obviously they want to appeal to curlies of all skin tones. not everything is about you and not everyone is attacking YOUR SKIN TONE. im brown skinned but I still don't see why you're all upset. Its business..every curly can look at this image and see themselves in it and that is the point. BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT ALREADY!

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think the issues is that the Muppet is of 'lighter complexion' the issue is that the Muppet's skin has been changed and taken shades lighter once again reinforcing the beauty of light(er) skin over black.

    You light skinned women are beautiful!! All day everyday
    You dark skinned women are beautiful!! All day everyday!!

    Doesn't change the face that this Muppet has been changed to light rather then her original brown skin tone.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's cute. She is still a girl of color, she ain't mocha chocolate brown but she looks black to me. Remember AAs are a heterozygous group of people. We are an Ad Hoc of more than just African. & no one should get jealous about skin color. This is a bout hair & loving who you are..

  • T.Turner says:

    Hi everyone! You can easily design your own shirt like this on the site that I work for,, with whatever skintone you would like – we're flexible, we take special requests haha. You can order just 1 or get many for your group of friends. There are lots of different fonts, shirt colors and styles, and clipart to choose from. Or you can upload your own image. It's pretty easy to do it! I just thought that I would offer another solution for those who want a shirt like that but weren't pleased with the skin color.

    As far as my thoughts on this great topic, I think some might be making a mountain out of a molehill. Though I can understand the "whitewashed" argument, the fact of the matter is we all come in all shades and hair combos. There are even caucasian/white people with 3c/4a/kinky type of hair (I've seen it in person and was shocked, haha), as well as many other nationalities and ethnic backgrounds; that shouldn't be discredited because we may not see it day to day. I think it's probably best to just let the overall message of the shirt prevail because many of us who rock our natural hair texture and/or frequent CurlyNikki's site do in fact, "love our hair." The character's hair in the shirt is still just as big and black as day, and many of us naturals can definitely relate to THAT. lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I like the shirt. To me the whole shirt just looks kind off faded. I know a website sells darker skinned shirts, they're just a bit more pricey.

  • Bethanie says:

    I will be buying shirt as soon as I get off work I will be going to my neighborhood Forever 21 and finding my medium paying my $15.00 and smiling as I walk out of the mall She cartoon on the shirt is about my color and although I am disappointed my the change in skin tone this is how I feel I LOVE MY HAIR and I will wear this shirt with pride everytime I wear it we have to fight one battle at a time and pray that progress is made and that America starts to accept and love our hair AND skintone as much as we do 🙂

  • Tiffani says:

    I love the shirt and have already ordered one.

  • Anonymous says:

    My daughter and I are both light-skinned and it's hard to find black characters and dolls who aren't dark skinned so yes, I will be buying this!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I wonder how people would feel if it were dark and light skinned black women said uh, uh that's too dark. That's not right and continued down that road of saying their not going to wear a character who's dark b/c she's not like me…we'd be villified. I buy items with all shades of black women/characters on them b/c I think we're all beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    I found the shirts a few weeks ago after reading an article and they have the original picture, check it out and they have several different ones!! I think its important to preserve the few images that our children have that look like them… check out this link I got myself shirts and two for my nieces.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hmm…Am I the only one who thinks she doesn't look lightened? I'm not understanding what all the huh bub is about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mighty Fine has the shirt with the original puppet.

  • Anonymous says:

    they also did this with the bratz dolls.when the first set was released sasha (the one that's supposed to be AA) is dark skinned (I still have the doll) but after a year or so her skin tone matched Yazmin's (the latina).

  • Tamara Smith says:

    I believe the problem does not only lay with F21. This society thrives on making as much money as possible no matter the cost. It stands to reason that F21 knows how to sell clothing; that's why they have been in business for so long. It probably is a good selling scheme to make the character lighter in color rather than keeping her a darker color. I am not at all saying this is right, but they will do what sells (not what is right). These are the standards our society has set and it will take some time to change that. On a side note, a more accurate depiction of the T-shirt can be purchased at

  • Anonymous says:

    Osama bin Laden has been killed and the the world has become a more dangerous place with the threat of retaliation looming over our nation and the world. I logged onto CN for a bit of levity and a much needed break from the news bulletins, but I can't bring myself to really care about the shade of a muppet on a cheap throw away t-shirt. When I first looked at the tee, the muppet looked black enough to me, and definitely is the shade of many members of my black family. I guess I just really don't look at my fellow Sisters in terms of color gradation, so it really does not matter to me the image is not "black enough". It is a Black image, as Black as so many of my friends and family, and that's enough for me. I believe that for me to think any differently would be to question the "blackness" of those people of color who are not as brown as me.

  • Renise B says:

    @BreZee: The difference in this shirt and people making Bart Simpson black would be that Fox and the creators of the Simpsons television show did NOT take part in it. The black version was created by some random person. SS & F21 jointly took part in recreating a character in a way that they felt wanted her to look. And while the man who wrote the song was white, he stated in interviews that he did so for his black daughter so that she could appreciate her hair more.

    I do agree that is great for all women to be encouraged to appreciate their hair, the obvious cannot be ignored.

  • Anonymous says:

    wow, this is just sad. These people need to seriously watch the SS skit again. The muppet-girl is obviously black. IDC about marketing. That's like making kermet the frog yellow and pretending it's the same character. So sad. Once again black people being disrespected by the media.

  • Joie says:

    Why are we so afraid to say "black"? All I hear is "brown" or "dark skinned" the puppet was a black girl. We are black girls.

    The shirt is just all kinds of wrong and it fails dismally.

  • Anonymous says:

    shes my skin tone, and I'm annoyed. There so stupid, why the hell didnt they just leave the shirt alone. Why change the girl period. Im not buying that. I had a white doll growing up. Then when i was getting bigger my mom finally found a Darkskinned black barbie. To this day day I have no idea where I threw white Barbie………

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow. This is a great step but even the model wearing the tee looks like she could be a white girl…I have never worn a shirt with another female on it that didn't resemble me, so no I would not purchase this..not only do I love my hair, but I love my complexion and would really like to see more of my darker colored sistas on clothes too! I have seen a tee in Wet Seal with a dark skinned Barbie and a huge afro that I would LOVE to purchase as a darkskinned natural : )

  • BreZee says:

    I don't think its that big a deal we made Bart Simpson black and any other cartoon black that wasn't orginally! So they made a black charcter white, it not the first time get over it and move on. And if Im not mistake the charcter was made by a white man! Women in all shades have issues with hair not just black women. While I truelly appreciate that we are here to encourage each other we should encourage every one all those who may not love their hair as much as we do.

  • Anonymous says:

    While I totally agree that the design should be browner based on the actual song and video… they're probably also trying to reach out to the bi-racial (first round mixed kids) and Latino market, while making the shirt "juuuuuuuuuusssssst" black/brown enough for black women to not pass it up. I probably will buy it (just being honest) but that's also because I'm a close match in shade to picture portrayed.

    I WOULD have liked for this shirt to be darker-skinned, but I think (nah, check that, KNOW) that the skin tone was chosen to make sure that lighter mixed girls (mixed with black), Latino, Arab, and the lighter portion of African-Americans would buy the shirt. Basically, Forever 21 didn't want a strictly black face on the shirt b/c the "curly-hair" message is resonating in our newly "post-racially diverse" (side-eye) America.

    Basically, black, but not toooooo black. So business as usual.

  • AusetAbena says:

    Hey Anon, 9:01pm, I would rather we overanalyze than trivialize. Its called THINKING, especially as thinking and smart consumerism go hand in hand. To those who may think its petty, wake up and smell the roses. Dang. Why must some black people get mad when other black people seek to critique something?

  • @jnic_missuseeit says:

    great idea but I agree skin tone is a little fishy

  • Anonymous says:

    It would be cool if they made the shirt in different brown skins tones….

  • Anonymous says:

    If I really wanted the tshirt, I'd buy it, go to Micheal's arts & crafts and paint her the color I want…but I don't really want it (and F21 is making so much $ they could care less).

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL…my mother made me color in the angel on our tree at Christmas too! Funny how you think you're the only ones taking a stand sometimes. Looking at the shirt…I'm thoroughly annoyed. Even though I'm considered light-skinned…What the heck Sesame Street. That's not even the color of Maria or Gaby (I was raised on that good ole public broadcasting channel lol).

    And in response to Anonymous at 9:01pm…if the girl looked like the original I think we would buy the shirt. When there are just as many brown, black, and yellow people on shirts as there are Anglo Saxons…I will be GLADLY retire my picket line….until then I think my opinion is quite valid. I grew up in a town where the only affirmation I received that shades of brown was beautiful WAS in my home through the books and dolls my parents purchased. Wouldn't change it for the world. Hopefully by the time I have children things will be different.

  • Anonymous says:

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 9:01 pm–

    Why does anyone need to "reconsider" reinforcing images of the White beauty standard to their own children? I don't even have kids and i still cringe at the (thankfully) very few times I see a little Black girl clutching a White doll. If you think Black mothers instilling race pride in their daughters is "not effective" it says a lot about you. Check out that ubiquitous video of little Black kids choosing white dolls over black ones and "reconsider" yourself.

  • Precious Henshaw says:

    This gets a major side-eye from me …. why on earth did they lighten her? As though less people would have purchased the shirt had she been her original, DARKER complexion. SMH at some of these companies. I absolutely do not think that it was okay to change her shade.

  • Anonymous says:

    Black folks are the hardest people to please… I didn't think it looked lightened when I first glanced at it… Maybe I need to re-watch the video?? If the muppet had been dark brown, people would've been saying "Why does the muppet with the afro have to be so dark?" Let's stop getting so hung up on color! I mean, hello! We're talking about a dang Sesame Street muppet girl here. Boycott Forever 21?? How about you just don't buy the shirt, because I'm sure there are other girls who might not have seen the video who doesn't think the muppet has been lightened or whatever who would still purchase it.

    Also, I think some of you who have children and don't buy your kids white Barbies or dolls of other ethnicities should reconsider. When I was little, we had Barbies of all shades and colors, dark skinned, Asian, Latino and white. I never thought much about it until I'd bring my Barbies on the bus and have the black girls say, "My mama don't buy me white Barbies! You got white Barbies?!"I think the whole I don't buy my kids white barbies thing isn't really effective.

  • millie says:

    if you ladies want an "I <3 My Hair" t with a girl who looks like the original character, go to i just got mine and the girl looks JUST like me!

  • StaceyMarie says:

    I'll be getting one and doing the same thing I did with my favorite BCBG sweater–re-dyeing it until the chick is BROWN!!I'm considered light-skinned, but my parents made sure to have Black faces represented in all facets of my life, including my toys. My grandparents even found a company to send my cousins and me a letter from Black Santa and all of our Santas and angels are Black from the point of sale. S/N:I'll also be writing a letter to F21 to complain about their lack of diversity, considering that young Black girls and women (and other people of color) are a huge part of their market.

  • Dani @ says:

    What in the whitewashed hell is this!?!?!


  • Anonymous says:

    Forever 21 is Korean owned so….

  • KeepItMovingDotCom says:

    she's not that light-skinneded! Let's just boycott F21 until the shirt's off the market, okay?

  • Anonymous says:

    I would get one. I would definitely get a marker and change the character to the color I like and wear that shirt out! Everyone will be like "where'd you get that shirt?! I want one like it!" That will show em, ha! lol

  • NaijaDreamie says:

    talk about white privilege YET AGAIN! i'm so done with fashion and the mainstream media… but you know what, i think i will be getting one and i will be ROCKING it like nobody's business. at least it will make sense when i wear it…

  • socialitedreams says:

    i just went through their graphic tees, they literally didn't change anyone else. charlie brown, kermit, marilyn, the situation, elmo, speedy gonzalez, popeye, spongebob, the beatles…but the ONE black girl character had to be changed/lightened?

  • socialitedreams says:

    they sell LOTS of licensed t-shirts and didn't change them, yet they lighten that one? super suspect. they don't change their run dmc shirts, hello kitty, marilyn monroe, etc but this one had to be changed? Why not leave her the same?? it was licensed BY sesame street so not like they had to change it to get around trademarks

    shame shame


  • Tiffany says:

    I don't have a problem with the model being white or the image of the character having light/white skin, but I DO find a HUGE problem with f21 changing the SKIN COLOR of the ORIGINAL "I love my hair" girl from brown to a lighter shade. Shame. On. Them. Seriously, I am going to write SOMEBODY because this grievance must be heard.

  • Aitza B | Petitely Packaged says:

    I for one will be getting one. While I wish they had different shades of brown the concept of loving your hair is their. My family is a mixture of different ethnic groups so I think the model is the perfect shade of brown.

    As far as the barbie thing goes I understand it. I didn't get white dolls until around age 10 because I wanted a doll that looked like my friends at school. Colored barbies all the way!

  • Sisou says:

    T-shirt= Win. Model= fail.

    The t-shirt is a picture with someone who is black or biracial with an afro. The song is about Black girls accepting their hair ( hidden msg: don't try to have straight white woman hair). However, it is modeled by a straight hair white woman?

    If that model wore that shirt in Real life = me cracking the F up.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    LOL @ Melinda. Thought it was just my granny. Every Christmas figurine in the house, lol… mostly brown with white edges poking through. Gotta love it.

  • Melinda says:

    Wow. I'm speechless. I definitely WILL NOT be purchasing! @CurlyNikki, my granny used to do the same with all of her white Christmas figurines lol!

  • Lillian says:

    So the message they are trying to say is love your hair, but hate your skin? C'mon, f21, the character was brown skinned!

  • Anonymous says:

    She's my color so I may buy one. However, I get it b/c I don't like to buy my daughter white dolls or items with characters that don't look like her or member of her fam.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    lol @ Candace! I so feel you and can definitely relate. Gia likes to bang and drool on my computer, so the other day I went to Walgreens to buy her a toy one of her own. All they had were Barbie ones… and of course she was White. I passed it up. It was cute, and cheap, but I'd rather her grow up seeing beautiful black images. Hubby says I'm racist, lol. But that's how I was raised, and I turned out pretty good, lol. Only black dolls in my house growing up. Hell, my grandma used to color her Santa decorations brown with a marker. Hilarious.

  • Anonymous says:

    My first thought: this Sesame Street knock-off is white so Forever 21 won't get sued by PBS UNTIL i saw the SS logo in the corner-wtf?! And can't imagine why they would be trying to appeal to a diverse market if it would be primarily Black women who would have purchased this shirt anyway. If SS actually allowed F21 to license this image i'm very surprised.

    And I wonder how difficult it would be for any of the talented Black women who have created (much cuter) t-shirt designs to get a contract with F21? Mainstream America never disappoints.

  • Serurubele says:

    Yes, the fact that she's turned light-white is a bit typical. My seem petty but I wouldn't buy it for that reason. Makes no sense at all.
    I bet if she was originally green or pink or blue she would sill be, but brown no way. Annoying.

  • Candace says:

    While its super cute, I will not be purchasing one. I have this odd "hang up" about wearing people who don't look like me or my cousins on my person. I've never been able to do it…and I can't bring myself to do it now.

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