Michael Kors has teamed up with #WatchHungerStop campaign is a nice idea. The designer has partnered up with the United Nations World Food Programme to raise money in hopes of feeding 5,000,000 families.
The campaign is in part helping families in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiya, which is great! In addition, #WatchHungerStop is feeding many other families throughout Africa, South America, and Asia.
But what about local hunger? In North America, 162,672,000 children are living in food insecure homes. The #WatchHungerStop campaign, however, has completely overlooked child hunger in its own backyard.
This process is creating an inherent hierarchy between the those who live above the equator, and those who live below it. Because it is only helping starving children in certain parts of the world, the campaign implies that the children in those countries need to be rescued by the white hero. This is a concept that has fuelled colonialism throughout history.
In addition to forgetting the local, starving children, the campaign gives privileged people the idea that they are making a difference. This campaign gives accessory lovers the chance to say they help world hunger, when in actuality, they are likely completely disconnected from what is actual happening, and are not aware of the systemic issues of world hunger.
Let’s face it, they were probably going to buy a Michael Kors watch anyway. Getting to tell their friends that they’re helping starving children is just an added bonus.
One of the #WatchHungerStop watches costs nearly $300.00, but only $25.00 of that goes to feeding families in need. This means that Michael Kors is profiting from about 88% of the sales of the #WatchHungerStop watch.
The #WatchHungerStop campaign isn’t going to stop hunger worldwide. The goal of the program is to feed 5,000,000 families. Unfortunately, this goal doesn’t even come close to feeding the 15.9 million children in the United States or the or the 53.1 million people in Mexico who live in food insecure households. In addition, both the United States and Mexico are both countries that have been overlooked by the campaign.
So no, #WatchHungerStop wont actually stop world hunger. It will feed some children though.
But, by only feeding people in certain, so called third world countries, is the campaign implying that those are the only starving children? Or are children in those countries more worthy of so-called first world help than those children living in the parts of North America, Europe, Asian, Australia, etc that were neglected by the campaign?
If Michael Kors’ #WatchHungerStop campaign is actually going to make a solid contribution to stopping world hunger, then it must rethink about what the definition of the world is.
While it will give 5,000,000 meals to hungry families, Micharl Kors’ project has forgotten about the many hungry children in his own back yard. Even though it is helping some children get a few meals, the #StopWorldHunger campaign is a bandaid solution to a hugely systemic issue that isn’t going to be fixed by a fashion designer and his loyal, privileged fashionistas who want to buy a fancy watch.