It really drains me to see articles about some of the brands we love using racist imagery to drive sales to their products. It also drains me to tell you about it, but awareness is the first step to change so maybe after hearing about Dove’s latest racist debacle we can start in 2017 to change a few things.
Dove had some advertising they released showing a black woman removing their exterior to reveal a white woman and then that woman removing her exterior to reveal an Asian woman. The black woman removing her exterior to reveal the white woman is what is causing the most controversy.
see below from Twitter:
— Habeeb Akande (@Habeeb_Akande) October 8, 2017
Of course, there are comments everywhere about Dove missing the mark, and since then Dove has issued their own apology for the FB advertisement.
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
Here is the thing about this brand that I do not understand, why do they create narratives that imply that the product is for all races as if black folk have no idea that they can make the choice of purchasing Dove products?
Let me elaborate! In the past, they got caught out there with this AD where they had imagery of a gradient of cracked skin to “normal skin” using women in the gradient who have dark skin to white skin.
You have done it in the past.? pic.twitter.com/qaGG10bePw
— Nonhlanhla Mabhena (@N0n0zA) October 7, 2017
Then in 2015 when they said the product was meant for “Normal to Dark skin” as if dark skin was somehow not ‘normal’
Why is race a constant premise within your advertisement campaigns? At some point, brands need to learn how to be inclusive without blatantly saying it because when they do it they almost always miss the mark!
I saw a pretty compelling image on FB earlier today of old soap brands pushing the same narrative:
It comes to no surprise that some brands do not know how quite to be inclusive without offending one race of another. In this new era of social media, they have had to face the consequences of the images they put out based on having an inherent belief that what is dark, black or brown is somehow dirty and should be cleansed.
Most brands are getting it, and even Dove at some point has gotten it right but they are clearly still in training on how to do this thing the right way.
News flash! From a cosmetic perspective, skin type is not black, white or Asian, it can, however, be cracked, dry or moisturized. If you focus on that then maybe the Black woman or Asian woman you are trying to attract in the beauty aisle may purchase your product. For now, most of them are declaring your brand as canceled!