Dr. Britt Baker was messed up real bad and received a legitimate black eye on a recent episode of AEW Dynamite after she was attacked by The Outcasts (Saraya, Toni Storm, Ruby Soho). In the aftermath of that angle, The Outcasts have been rubbing it in her face by wearing a shirt featuring Britt’s black eye.
AEW is actually selling that shirt in their online shop, and it created quite the controversy over the weekend. A lot of critics have argued that the shirt supports or potentially depicts domestic violence for those who see it out of context.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Baker said she was surprised by the negative reaction. She disagrees that the shirt has anything to do with domestic violence, and goes on to point out the real problem with this situation:
“I was very surprised. When I posted the picture of my black eye on social media, it got almost 100,000 likes [and comments saying] that I’m tough and I’m a badass and, ‘Wow, this girl, she’s strong.’ It was empowering. But then when it went on a shirt, it was really problematic, and that was so confusing to me. Because why? If I’m on a shirt with a black eye, why does that make me weak? Why does that make me a victim? But if a man, or Chris Jericho, had a black eye, they’d be tough and they’d be a badass.
“To me, it’s showing the internal narrative that people are saying about women—and that’s that we’re not as strong or as tough as the men, and that’s the real problem here. It’s not a black eye on a T-shirt. Sometimes I do get hurt. I’ve broken my leg, my wrist, my nose—and guess what? Now I have a black eye and I signed up for that. I’ve actually been telling the makeup artist, ‘Don’t cover up my black eye.’ Because I think it’s empowering, because I’m tough. You should see the other girl.”
For those who argue that the shirt sends a bad message when it is seen out of context, Baker has pointed out that plenty of pro wresting shirts seem strange out of context:
That’s insane that there’s a weird out of context pro wrestling shirt… https://t.co/xolouuDocI pic.twitter.com/rBRLAN9ZBa— Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (@RealBrittBaker) April 29, 2023
Ultimately, I tend to agree with Baker about this shirt controversy. The black eye shirt doesn’t actually glorify or depict domestic violence because her face bruise was not a result of man-on-woman violence. It’s human nature to make assumptions about things with a quick glance, but many times those assumptions end up being wrong. In those cases, it’s the person who made the incorrect assumption who should update their understanding of what they are looking at.
I can certainly see why folks would have advised AEW to keep the shirt on TV for the heels to wear but not actually sell it to the public, based on the assumptions that someone unfamiliar with the context can make when looking at it. However, it sounds like the shirt is a hot seller and has been very successful from a business standpoint. I did not anticipate that result, because I don’t see the appeal of wearing this shirt.
What’s your take on the Britt Baker black eye shirt controversy, Cagesiders?