By : N.E.R.D. Girl MAX™
Who : Dove® Personal Care Brand
What: 3-second .GIF / Dove® 2017 Facebook Ad
When : Noticed October 2017 (taken down October 7, 2017)
Where : Dove® Facebook
Why : Because corporations don’t understand the racist bs they shovel down the psyche of women of color across the world.
Dear Black Women …
On Columbus Day after watching the Juneteenth Black-ish episode(powerful by the way–I’ll be celebrating Juneteenth going forward), I came across a friend’s Facebook post comically mentioning the Dove® debacle. I put a laugh reaction at the bottom of the post because what she said WAS hilarious (no I’m not going to invade her privacy by posting it here). But it, of course, made me curious; like aydiosmio, dafuque did the corporate composers of color controversy dole out today?! And then I saw and it really pissed me off. I was about to just do a simple Facebook post, but then the stupid page refreshed and I lost all the typed steam that I had put into wordplay (which pissed me off even more). Still fuming, I said you know what, Max, get your arse in your office and type that first N.E.R.D. Girl MAX™ post. I wanted to type about so MANY other topics that I haven’t dedicated the time to research properly so that it can be content worth you reading. However, I’m glad that as a female; female of color (who happens to also be a BLERD) that this can be the start to the N.E.R.D. Girl MAX™ galaxy of keyboard expression.
Have you seen the Facebook Ad yet? If not you can click here to see it on CNNMoney ‘s YouTube Channel.
I was livid.
How about you?
For all my other blerds I know your go-to may be anger towards the message that tells women with rich pigmented skin that lighter skin (especially white skin) is better than their sun-kissed melanin. And while that is definitely a START, it goes beyond that for me. Let me kick some Dove® Wikipedia – based facts real quick.
- Unilever’s personal care brand originated in the United Kingdom (UK)
- Dove Products are manufactured in: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and United States.
- The products are sold in more than 80 countries.
Contrary to the small-minded belief of some Americans, Blacks do not have the monopoly on shades of color. The mixed nature of so many cultures and ethnicities is a topic for another time, but what I’m driving at is that there are SOOOOooooo many cultures (Black included, but not Black alone) that Dove® is feeding this “lightest is best-est” message to right now. It disgusts me.
Why must women after so many years be fed this chart of categorization that ranks them based on shades? Since as early as 1875 soap advertising has been going with this hackneyed perception that people of color are “dirty” and need to be cleansed into the “purity” that is whiteness. *insert eyeroll here* — Little girls are SO impressionable, and this CYCLE of comparison has GOT to stop. But my beautiful ladies YOU have got to be the ones who stop it!
Corporations will always shovel their color controversy and not ALWAYS because they are racists. It is often times because they are racial, ethnic, and cultural dumbarses. I’m not sympathetic to them, it’s a reality that the only colors they really can see are the shades of green found on money. Everything else.. everyone else… mere casualties of the war to get more money away from growing competitors.
You know, corporations DO have the effing money to hire people who can help them make more sound marketing decisions. But they don’t respect you. Nope.
They do NOT possess enough respect for their target market to have a team of ethnic consultants on the payroll. A team, that could easily guide them out of the troubled waters of insensitive advertising. They don’t care about you. About the false-self-image that they are peddling or the lackluster attempt at ethnic awareness that I guess is aimed at trying to… include? *shoulder shrug*
I laugh at that last thing I typed. RECOGNIZE that awareness and inclusion are merely marketing tools to reach out to a larger purchasing demographic.
Corporations do NOT have passion about your plight. They don’t care that their gross misrepresentation of your personal identifiers is feeding the misogynistic monster; the creature that devours color confidence and has women competing with each other for importance.
And if you didn’t know, May 2011 Dove® was in the same troubled hot waters for an ad in which they showed three women standing beside each other; varying in complexion dark to light going left to right. Behind the darker woman, the sign read “before” and showed her with dry, cracked skin. The “after” sign was positioned behind the white woman, and (yeah you guessed it) showed her with smooth skin. Oh but WAIT, there is more. It also honored your melanin with copy that read “Visibly more beautiful skin..” Chief executive Keith Belling’s response :
“Our team worked hard to create a [light-hearted] parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”
What was odd to me is, he said “light-hearted parody” right?
So why did Dove® ‘s public relations company, Edelmen, issue a statement to Gawker stating :
“All three women are intended to demonstrate the ‘after’ product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.”
*Insert Jay-Z’s “I don’t believe you, you need more people” rap verse here*
The clapback toward that campaign was severe, and you would think the lesson was learned, but not at all. Because we fast forward to October 2017 and they are back online pushing a poorly crafted statement about their “mistep” out to the masses (like we forgot the last eff up or something) :
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused.”
But I digress. Understand, my dears, you are not victims. You are warriors. Fierce warriors, with wallets stuffed with purchasing power. You are not victims to the inconsiderate “stray bullets” of corporations. They need you. But the beauty in YOUR power is that you DO NOT NEED them. THERE ARE SOOOOOoooo many alternatives that are not just in more need of support but that are also considered healthier alternatives for your skin and overall well-being.
Dove® is a suffocating concoction of synthetics. Yes, they can boast that they have vegetable oils (such as palm kernel) but don’t be excited to consider it vegan because depending on the country salts of animal fats (tallow) are used in its creation. I don’t pretend to be the loudest soap boxer (no pun intended) on all things natural. But I do try to have a holistic approach to life and for that reason, MY vegan soap choice is : NINON African Black Soap. The best price I have found is on Amazon (yes, if you click the link below and purchase you help monetize this blog; it’s not a false statement though. I use it, it’s my fave, and I tell everyone with an ear about it. So if you buy it, buy it from my Amazon link- GRACIAS!).
Ok promo fin … ladies let me leave you with this :
When corporations tell you to “lighten up” your skin… or your demeanor about their “missed [marks]”, fix your face, fix your heart and show their bottom line the DARK AGES.
Take your hard earned money ELSEWHERE. They’ll recognize your importance at the exact moment that it is TOO late.
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