Welp, Another Staple...Cancelled
By: Imani McGill
Black women are one of the biggest contributors to the beauty industry, but we are tragically misrepresented within it. Shea Moisture happened and that was a mess. Then we were blessed with Fenty Beauty, which showcases a variety of women. More importantly, they made sure that darker skin was in attendance and at the forefront. Fenty made a statement that marketing to all and incorporating a level of total inclusiveness can only help sales. It is not hard. Yet here we are...back to musty marketing with Dove. It’s sad, exhausting, but not totally surprising. Two steps forward…one hundred fifty years’ worth of steps back, seems like that’s the new norm.
Dove’s new Facebook ad, if you haven’t seen it, shows racially different models using their product to transform into a better? More clean?... more desired version of themselves. And per usual, the black model in a brown tee turns into a white woman in a white tee.
Awesome…the same old tired not-so-subliminal supremacy message is peeking its ugly head though. We see you.
Stunningly, this wasn't Dove's first f**k up. The ad pictured below clearly features women looking more clean and um, white, after washing with Dove.
Question upon question popped into mind and like most others, my inquiry focused on the company’s neglect and seemingly willful ignorance.
“Do they have any black people or POCs working at Dove?!” “Why do companies insist on pleading ignorance for being blatantly offensive?” “Isn’t there a marketing history class that someone has to take?!”
“Are corporations just not listening?”
It IS important to note however, that after the black model transforms into the white model she now, being the white model, then...transforms into an ambiguous brown (but not TOO brown) model. What? People who aren’t too bothered by Dove’s recent infraction go to this to try and make excuses for Dove and all I have for that is:
Some of Twitter’s most notable had this to say:
No matter the latter half of the ad, this is just another instance where we are bombarded with signs and signals signifying where we are as people and how far we have to go. Again, the marginalized are forced to deal with the mainstream’s perpetual state of ignorance. How many times do we have to go over this? How many times do you have to say sorry for the same thing before you admit you simply don’t care? I once applauded Dove’s ability to accept all different body sizes...but one thing they can’t seem to accept is black bodies. Their lack of representation, marketing accountability and/or common sense is simultaneously negligible, and a huge problem. It is 2017, everyone should have done better and it’s a problem that they didn’t. So Dove, sweetheart, STOP. Stop “missing the mark” it is impossible to miss, it’s huge. Stop being willfully ignorant. Stop making the same mistakes and stop apologizing for subjecting your customers to lazy, racist ads, and then repeating it. Thanks.
Because our favorite brands are being cancelled left and right. We have to create for ourselves and search high and low for someone to accept what we cannot change, the skin we’re in. If that was the last straw for you & Dove is officially canceled, here are some POC owned companies that encompass the skin care industry and cater to all:
Anima Mundi Apothecary (Latinx)
Many others can be found via the black mall or Etsy.
I wasn’t able to find any Asian-American/Asian or Native American owned but I absolutely will still be on the lookout.
Women of color: your coins are extremely valuable, don't waste time giving them to companies that don't deserve it.