So, About That Dove Ad…The Full Thing Has People Changing Their Minds

October 9, 2017  |  

I was taking my after church nap when I woke up to the news that Dove had officially been canceled. I was already late. Apparently, on Friday the company posted this picture on their Facebook page, stirring up ire and outrage.

When I woke up and saw the ad, I was just confused. I didn’t understand what it was insinuating. But with copy like “Ready for a Dove Shower?” many people assumed that the Black woman represented a before picture and the White woman was an after. Like before she was dirty and now she was clean.

It wasn’t long before people began sounding off.

Another image surfaced which people also assumed that the darker skinned, Black woman was being represented as the “Before” picture and the White woman as the clean, “After” shot.

By Saturday, the ad was removed from Dove’s Facebook page and they offered this apology via Twitter.

Then, folks started digging even further and found verbiage on other products that made them feel a way.

This right here; is indeed a problem. But as for the first one, after a video featuring the full ad surfaced, people started singing a slightly different tune.

The message was really quite the opposite. It was one of inclusion instead of one based in racism, that every woman, regardless of race was ready for a Dove Shower.

Also, there is someone who claims to have a statement from the Black woman featured in the commercial. But her name is obscured and I haven’t been able to verify it on Facebook yet. Still, it reads as follows.

Dove did drop the ball in, as the model suggested, positioning her so closely to the White woman and releasing a still shot instead of the full gif.

But also, the internet reacted too quickly. But there is a history of soap companies putting forth the notion that Black skin is inherently dirty because it is darker. And apparently, we haven’t let go of that sensitivity.

What do you make of the whole thing? While the full ad has surfaced, there are still news stories that are focusing on the single screenshot. What do you think the company can do to counteract this message?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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