Dove hit by backlash for racist advert
Dove have been hit by a wave of backlash for 'whitewashing' in one of their recent adverts.
Dove has been forced to apologise for missing the mark in one of its recent adverts, in which a black woman turns into a white one through using their soap.
The advert depicts a black woman taking off her top after using Dove body wash, only to become a white woman.
The campaign was shared on Facebook, but has since been removed. However, make up artist Naythemua shared screenshots in a now-viral post to draw attention to its clear racism.
She asked people if they would be offended if the white woman had turned into a black woman, saying:
"Nope, we wouldn’t and that’s the whole point. What does America tell black people? That we are judged by the color of our skin and that includes what is considered beautiful in this country.”
The advert has since been picked up on Twitter, with people outraged over the obvious white-washing in the campaign:
Dear Dove,— Exavier Pope (@exavierpope) October 8, 2017
I LOVE and I am proud of my beautiful, luxurious black skin.
I would NEVER whitewash it off.
The Black Delegation
This has to be fake.— 🗣U BUM (@Desh3hunna) October 8, 2017
A common insult to black women in the past, but you won't get away with it today, Dove and Unilever.— Debrah Ross aka Kate (@Lysastrata) October 8, 2017
Following the removal of the advert from circulation, Dove, which is owned by Unilever, released the following apology:
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
People seem less than convinced with the half-hearted apology, drawing attention to the lack of thought that clearly went into the advert's creation:
Lol did this even look right to y'all? I mean your whole team sat down and cleared this bullshit right here? How? pic.twitter.com/WzsZfpkxAr— Musimbwa (@UNcubeOthungayo) October 7, 2017
I'm never buying Dove again.— Tshwanelo Fokazi (@TshwaneloFokazi) October 8, 2017
Y'all think my brown skin symbolises dirt.
The apology seems even weaker in light of Dove's previous lack of foresight in their adverts, suggesting a systematic lack of understanding when it comes to any skin colour that isn't white (or in Dove's words, 'normal').
In 2011, Dove released an advert in similar vain that charted a transition from a black woman to a white woman after using their product.
You have done it in the past.🙄 pic.twitter.com/qaGG10bePw— Nonhlanhla Mabhena (@N0n0zA) October 7, 2017
Many women of colour have been forced to defend their hurt, having to explicitly lay out why the advert is so offensive:
Trans model and diversity activist Munroe Bergdorf who was recently dropped from L'Oreal over speaking out about racism tweeted:
Until brands truly understand the meaning of diversity, and how to appropriately represent women of colour without relentlessly demeaning their worth, they should avoid trying to cash in on race as a means to better sell their products.