Culture

Black model says controversial Dove ad was misinterpreted, not racist

Black model says controversial Dove ad was misinterpreted, not racist”

"And this is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped", she went on to say.

She was also happy with the end result: In the 13-second Facebook video and 30-second commercial that aired in the U.S., Ogunyemi removes her shirt to reveal a white woman in a lighter shirt who then reveals an Asian-American woman. In an emailed statement Sunday, Dove said the ad, a three-second video clip, "did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened ... we apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused".

"The historical context makes this sooo much worse", one responder wrote, adding in a photo of a Dove's "Summer Glow" nourishing lotion which the bottle said was for "normal to dark skin".

A Nigerian model in a racially insensitive advertisement for soap company Dove is defending the original vision for the commercial, which features a series of women of different races removing nude T-shirts and turning into one another. Meanwhile, Ogunyemi said that she was "upset" over the "widespread outrage" of an ad that made her "excited to promote the strength of her race".

That said, Ogunyemi said the experience with Dove team was positive.

Well, as anticipated, we're getting to hear from the black woman featured in the ad! "All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective - to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness". She added that she is also aware of previous advertisements that have sparked outrage from the public due to their offensive nature.

"I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion". Her feelings should also be taken into account when people are getting angry about the ad's messaging.

At this point, Ogunyemi is being posed as a victim to this campaign, when in reality it was a campaign that she was immensely proud of.

"While I agree with Dove's response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign", she said. I was overwhelmed by just how controversial the ad had become. And Ogunyemi says she too is no stranger to white beauty standards: "I've grown up very aware of society's opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter".



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