Beauty company Dove apologised after releasing a series of “racist” images. The images appeared to show a black woman turning white after using their soap.
The Facebook advertising campaign used a series of three images. In them, a black woman peeling off her T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath her skin.
The featured model Lola Ogunyemi explains why she thinks the ad was taken out of context.
“People seem to think that the advert is racist because I am shown to be removing my top and turning into a white woman”, she began.
“As a dark-skinned black woman, I’ve heard countless times through society, through my peers that there is a light standard of beauty that I don’t have.
“To have the opportunity to show that I do feel beautiful and I am valued in media was extremely exciting for me.
“So, for it to come out and be taken out of context and then spiral into a global controversy was really overwhelming. It was quite upsetting as well.
“I think the full TV ad does a much better job of expressing what the campaign message was. The Facebook ad was meant to be something a bit more fun, a slightly different creative concept.
“The message is that we are all different, we look different, but the product is the same. It works on all of us.
“I’m not wholeheartedly defending Dove. Preparing for this sort of misinterpretation is something that Dove could have anticipated.
“They immediately issued an apology. If Dove had defended their creative vision and defended their choice to use me, as a dark-skinned woman, defended their reason for using me first, for whatever reason, it could have put a different narrative into play.”
Dove apologised for the Facebook ad: “we deeply regret the offense it caused.”