My Apology to Dove
What happens when Black Twitter, Black Facebook, Black Instagram, and black people, in general, react too quickly?
This is my apology to Dove, from Black Twitter. Here is why I, for one, am sorry but really NOT sorry.
Dove recently issued an apology for an online advertisement that at first glance, appeared to be racist, and demeaning.
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
Black Twitter and the rest of the internet immediately jumped on the defense. Myself included. How dare Dove, my favorite beauty/hygiene company put out an advertisement so ignorant?! Isn’t our girl Shonda Rhimes a producer for their Real Beauty campaign?! How could they miss the mark so badly?! Does this mean I have to boycott them? I mean, what else am I going to use? Everything else irritates my skin. Not to mention, they now have Baby Dove! I use the soap for Jaxon and it is wonderful! No, Dove, no!
Okay, pump the breaks, Brittany, you’re jumping to conclusions.
I have to admit that I did not take the time out to research what I had originally seen. Much like everyone else, I was only exposed to a screenshot of a VIDEO. I was under the assumption that Dove had posted a photo of a black woman taking off her shirt, only to reveal a clean, white woman. What point was Dove trying to prove? Of course, racism, we ALL know what we THOUGHT Dove was trying to say. Upon further investigation, the video is shown to be women of multiple races taking off a shirt that is similar to their skin tone, in an effort to show that Dove is inclusive, and caters to all skin types, and all skin tones.
The photo drew criticisms from many, including Director/Screenwriter Ava Duvernay who tweeted,
You can do better than “missed the mark.” Flip + diminishing. Deepens your offense. You do good work. Have been for years. Do better here.
You can do better than "missed the mark." Flip + diminishing. Deepens your offense. You do good work. Have been for years. Do better here.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 8, 2017
and actress Gabrielle Union who also tweeted,
I really would like to know who exactly had a seat at the table making this decision.
I really would like to know who exactly had a seat at the table making this decision. https://t.co/rPRxB61Exl
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) October 8, 2017
As a young, African American woman who has spent her entire life as a token black person in white spaces, and now in the male-dominated, white-ran advertising industry, I too had the same questions and feelings as everyone else. Which leads me to believe that I am sorry for jumping to conclusions with this advertisement, but why, in the same breath, I am not sorry about lashing out.
Sorry NOT Sorry
I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry because we (black people) are used to advertisers “missing the mark.” When we see an inkling of something that could potentially be racist and demeaning, we instantly jump to the defense. It’s sad that it’s our first reaction, but it’s the reality that we live. And there are facts to prove it. Dove has put out racist messaging in the past. But, does that mean they should not be forgiven? For some, maybe. However, if we want to see the advertising industry adjust, we have to be willing to forgive them. Yes, that means Black Twitter should be more forgiving. I mean, they’re cutting our girl Shonda a check!
Dove's racist advertising is nothing new… just the most recent of many pic.twitter.com/U3fdRICHZv
— Black Girl Culture (@blkgirlculture) October 8, 2017
We should be willing to hear the entire story before we react (or in this case, watch the entire advertisement). Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, that is USUALLY the entire story.
I stand by my statement when I say we need more diversity in the advertising industry. I am tired of seeing companies make these mistakes. However, in this instance, Dove made no mistake. We made the mistake. Black Twitter made the mistake. I do not think we should feel too bad about it, though. It is Black Twitter’s duty to continue calling out advertisements that show a lack of diversity or are viewed as racist. We should continue to support our peers that want to change the faces of the advertisers sitting around the table making decisions. It is not our fault that we are conditioned to react negatively.
I apologize to Dove for being one of the ones to react too quickly. But, that will not stop me from caping for more diversity.
And on a related note, sorry not sorry, but I do not feel bad for Kendall Jenner boo-hooing on TV about that lame Pepsi ad. You’re a grown woman. You knew it was distasteful before you even begun filming.
You can view the Dove video below. What do you think of the video? Comment below and let me know your honest opinion! Will you still be using Dove after this incident?