Controversial Dove Body Wash Ad Isn't Racist, Just Stupid

Jill Baughman

DoveLadies, Dove has finally done the unthinkable: It has come out with a body wash that promises to turn darker-toned people white. Just take a look at the ad above and see for yourself.

Do you find it "racist" or "offensive"?

Believe it or not, plenty of folks do. This is the thinking: How dare Dove put an image of an African American woman right underneath the "before" label, then put a Caucasian (and, hold the phone, skinnier!) woman underneath the "after" label?


I'm inclined to think that the creative geniuses behind the marketing of a huge brand like Dove wouldn't come out with something intentionally racist -- especially with its female-empowering "Campaign for Real Beauty" and all that.  

Racist? No. Stupid? Yes.

This was clearly the result of some bad decision-making.

After all, there's a super-easy fix that would've avoided all this drama: Couldn't the photographer -- or whoever was in charge -- simply have switched the order of the models? If they had put the blonde in the middle or on the left, this "racist ad" wouldn't even be an issue. But nowadays, you can't put anything past hypercritical folks, especially with the anonymity of the Internet. Frankly, my first reaction to the ad was to laugh because I knew this was exactly how people would react.

Maybe I'd feel differently about the whole thing if I were an African American or Latina (I think?) woman, but I'm Asian. (Did you notice there are no Asians in this ad ... OMG Dove is sooooo freakin racist!!!) But seriously, can't we can't have black, Latina, and white women standing next to each other without people freaking out and crying racism?

Still, it's hard not to think the ad and the placement of the women by race was intentional because it's so easily fixable. Then again, the ad is making headlines -- and perhaps that was the company's intent all along.


Do you think this ad is racist?

Image via

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