Black Model From Controversial 'Racist Dove Ad' Defends The Campaign
The black model a part of Dove’s controversial advertisement has spoken out in support of the campaign.
Writing for The Guardian, Lola Ogunyemi wrote about being a part of Dove’s new body wash campaign and how she feels it has been misinterpreted.
“If I had even the slightest inclination that I would be portrayed as inferior, or as the ‘before’ in a before and after shot, I would have been the first to say an emphatic ‘no,’ I would have (un)happily walked right offset and out of the door,” Ogunyemi said. “That is something that goes against everything I stand for.”
“However, the experience I had with the Dove team was positive. I had an amazing time on set. All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective – to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness.”
The model then speaks about the two advertisements that were shown — a 15-second clip showing Ogunyemi, a white woman, and an Asian woman and a 30-second clip that features the aforementioned three women along with four other models. The former is the one that has circulated the most and ultimately incited the controversy.
“There is definitely something to be said here about how advertisers need to look beyond the surface and consider the impact their images may have, specifically when it comes to marginalized groups of women. It is important to examine whether your content shows that your consumer’s voice is not only heard but also valued,” Ogunyemi wrote.
Finishing up her op-ed, Ogunyemi concluded with:
“I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage. Having said that, I can also see that a lot has been left out. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion.”
“While I agree with Dove’s response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.”