File this under something we never would have even seen if there had been no outcry by online media. Still, it's here, and people are calling out Dove for their new body wash ad. I wonder if I would have just flipped by it, like I do most pages that are trying to sell me something in magazines. Or if the juxtaposition of black to white woman would have caught my eye? I certainly don't hang out on Dove's corporate website, where this image currently resides.
Well it doesn't matter now, because Dove is being hammered on a variety of outlets for its racist ad where it appears they're selling a product to make your skin better, and therefore, whiter.
Of course, all the claims of racism, might actually be based on faulty assumptions.
As you can see, the ad for Dove's Visible Care line wants to demonstrate the improvement in the texture of your skin. It just so happens that putting a black woman under the "before" banner and a white woman under the "after" banner could be construed as racist. Unless you believe that all colors of skin are beautiful, then you would take the ad at face value and realize that all of these three skin tones have been improved -- equally. (Although, yes, having the "brown" woman in the middle does give it that bad, better, best vibe, right?)
But I doubt a major corporation would put out a campaign that has the goal of appealing to the white power nutjobs in the world. What you do have to wonder about, is the racial composition of the people in the room who approved this ad. I'm thinking they need to diversify their marketing team, so oopsies like this don't happen again.
I do appreciate the Dove campaigns that have attempted to show us a variety of women, thus, allowing all women to see someone like themselves in mass media. Of course when you step outside of the skinny, white, supermodel box, you will get attention. And all of that attention will not be positive. I just hope all this hubbub won't make companies think twice before advertising to the real world, rather than the slim percentage of skinny, white women.
Do you think this ad is racist?
Image via DoveCloseUp