Unless you are fortunate enough to live under a rock, I am sure you have seen the latest racial controversy brought to us by Dove. A couple of days ago, the above picture frequently popped up in my news feed on Facebook.
From this picture alone, it is easy to tell why many black people would be outraged. It looks as if washing yourself with Dove body wash will turn you from a "dirty" black woman to a "clean" white woman.
I mean seriously......WHAT THE FUCK!?
The controversy only seemed to gain momentum when people dug up an old ad from 2011. The ad was supposed to show the before and after of one's skin when using their product Visiblecare Creme Body Wash. Unfortunately, people felt that the order of the women (black, latina, and white) was some sort of subliminal message from the company about ethnic skin.
Dove issued a statement during that controversy:
“We believe that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and ages and are committed to featuring realistic and attainable images of beauty in all our advertising. We are also dedicated to educating and encouraging all women and girls to build a positive relationship with beauty, to help raise self-esteem and to enable them to realize their full potential. The ad is intended to illustrate the benefits of using Dove VisibleCare Body Wash, by making skin visibly more beautiful in just one week. All three women are intended to demonstrate the “after” product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.”But what kind of controversy/conspiracy would it be if Black Twitter didn't chime in on the story. Issues with the wording on products and the history of the soap industry in regards to advertising exploded all over Twitter.
But this morning I woke up to reports that this ad was actually a video and not just a picture. There are actually 3 women featured in the ad as seen below.
It did ease my outrage with the beauty company. But it was interesting to still see the divisive discussion that continued despite more and more people seeing the ad in its entirety. There were still arguments that the ad was showing a subliminal message that fairer skin was better.
Over the years, it seems as though Dove had done a fairly good job in showing black women in a positive light without any issue. So can we disregard that due to one perspective of an incomplete ad?
We are living in a time where racism seems to be at the forefront of every conversation. Whether you are annoyed by the conversation or you actively engaged in the discussion, the topic is there.
Unfortunately, some people like to stir the pot and sway people towards the negative and causing the progression of the conversation to take a step back. As much as I was anti Dove when the initial picture came out, the real ad makes me realize this is not one of the racial battles worth fighting.
So what they switched from a darker skinned woman to a very fair white woman. At least in an industry where we are constantly being showed only the lighter end of the black women spectrum, Dove gave use something else.
Here is Good Morning America's piece on the ad:
What are your thoughts on the Dove ad controversy?