Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Dove model insists she is not victim amid racism row

Dove model insists she is not victim amid racism row

In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Ogunyemi reiterated that critics might have a different opinion of the ad had they seen the full thing, reports Reuters. She validates their feelings and finds a common ground to build on, so they are more willing to listen.

As a darker-skinned woman, she knows how hard it is to find work as a model, and this commercial for body wash and the opportunity to be the face of Dove felt like a huge break for her.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Nigerian model explained why she chose to accept the project.

That transformation alone, in a soap ad, has many people claiming the ad is racist, with customers now vowing to never buy Dove again.

"I was just kind of shocked that that had come out a month after the ad had come out and everyone had been so complimentary and excited for me". United was nailed after the violent removal of a passenger from one of its planes made endless rounds on social media. If you don't, there's obviously something wrong with you. People congratulated her for "representing Black Girl Magic", she said. This did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened.

Instead, she claimed Dove's initial objective was to "use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness".

Lola said: "What has been said is the problem is that there is a black woman - who is myself - the concept is that she potentially removes her top and becomes a white woman after using a Dove product".

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"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, '" she wrote.

Next, a full 30-second TV commercial was released in the United States, featuring seven women of different races and ages, answering the question: If your skin were a wash label, what would it say?

"Then the full, 30-second TV commercial was released in the USA, and I was over the moon again". I loved it, and everyone around me seemed to as well. 'I think the full TV edit does a much better job of making the campaign's message loud and clear'.

One of the major reasons for backlash, though, was that very few people saw the ad as originally intended.

Dove, a Unilever brand, was criticized in 2011 over an ad which showed three women side by side in front of a before-and-after image of cracked and smooth skin, with a black woman on the "before" side and a white woman on the "after" side.

In an article she wrote for The Guardian, Lola said that she sees how the images have been misinterpreted.

"I don't feel it was racist", she also said. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion, ' she wrote.

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