A TikToker went viral after sharing a video of a group of women photographing children in Africa. User @benchutta shared the video of the four white women taking multiple photos of two young African children in front of a restaurant.
“Please don’t do this when you travel to Africa,” the video’s overlay text reads. The TikTok amassed more than 2 million views since being uploaded on March 3. Thousands of viewers flooded the comments section to criticize the women’s actions.
“You KNOW they captioned their photos #grateful #blessed #lifechanging #love,” a top comment with 35,000 likes read.
“Ah yes poor kids, my IG is gonna love this,” another viewer sarcastically commented.
Many viewers were concerned over the possible lack of consent in taking the minors’ photos.
“No one should take pictures of anybody’s children without their permission,” a viewer wrote.
“Where’re their parents?” another viewer questioned.
However, many users agreed there was a deeper issue with the women’s actions.
“People missing the point as usual. It’s not even about permission, it’s the fact they wouldn’t do this to random kids in their country so why there,” a user commented.
“If you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do it abroad,” another advised.
A handful of viewers pointed out this was classic “white savior complex,” referring to the ideology in which a white person, from a position of superiority, sees “themselves as wonderful helpers to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” according to Healthline.
“You can see the moment the white saviour complex simultaneously clicks in all of their tiny brains,” a user commented.
“My favorite is the ‘white savior’ pose,” another user wrote. “Pasty white woman surrounded by brown children who appear to be worshiping her for her trinkets and pennies.”
There were several viewers who argued that the reverse happens in other countries, with some stating blonde and blue-eyed Americans are often photographed in Asia. Still, others were convinced that that doesn’t make it OK.
“It’s weird in general,” a user wrote. “Whether it’s someone Asian, Hispanic, black or white. Taking pics of kids because you find them fascinating is weird.”