There’s recent controversy over a Dove body wash commercial that was “supposed” to represent the diversity of their product. However, the 3 second clip posted to Facebook did the exact opposite and resulted in Dove having to take down their post and publically apologize.
The commercial in question features Nigerian-British model, Lola Ogunyemi, who recently spoke out to The Guardian telling them that she wasn’t “just some silent victim”. The whole commercial features Lola taking off her brown shirt and revealing a white woman in a beige shirt, then the white woman takes off her shirt and reveals an Asian woman in a white shirt. Unfortunately, that was not what was seen on social media; just Lola and the unknown white woman. This gave viewers the impression that Dove was saying that black was dirty and white was clean. Along with Dove’s history, taking the Facebook post down was the best option.
A few years back, Dove released an ad for hydrating skin where there were two women of
color standing in front of a “before” picture and then a white woman standing in front of the “after” picture. Now, in the before picture, the skin was dark, rough and in need of hydration. Then, the after picture, was white, smooth, and hydrated. This gave the impression of white is right and dark is bad.
Dove has since apologized saying that, that was not their intentions, but to show diversity in their products and how Dove is for everyone. Although, the effort is appreciated, with racial tensions running high in America, Dove should have done better.