Boycott Dove: right response? Maybe not but the soap giant needs to receive sense


Have you seen those court cases where one of the attorneys will say something so outrageous knowing that the judge will disallow it? Judge will get all flustered and say “The jury will disregard that last comment.” I used to wonder what the sense was in that. Why would you rile up the judge in charge of your case? Now, though, I understand that that which has been heard cannot be unheard. That which has been seen cannot be unseen. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. And this is what Dove Cosmetics STAY doing with their ignant asses!!! They might apologise later, but they’ve made their point, it seems. The soap and cosmetics giant have got people in a huff, with a bunch of black people threatening (and going ahead) to boycott Dove.

Dove recently released an ad which has since been deleted, showed a black woman wearing a brown shirt removing her top to reveal a white woman in a lighter top. A third image shows the white woman removing her shirt to show a woman of apparently Asian/Latin descent.

The advert was for a bar of soap or something; I don’t know, neither do I care much. I’m not even going to go as far as saying that the advert is racist because it isn’t – on the surface of it. The point is…what is the point? Who tries to sell a bar of soap by insinuating that the person removes their skin to reveal lighter skin beneath? How can a skin and cosmetics GIANT with possibly hundreds of personnel in their marketing and advertising team think this is okay?! How could this have gone through all of the stages of production and each and every single stage said “Yup, this is exactly how we wish to portray this product and, by extension, our brand too.”? Who okayed this?!

They seem to have a policy that is inclusive of ALL women – black, white, green, tall, short, fat, old, young or skinny – which is why this advertisement is even more puzzling. Would they not know better than to try to tackle anything that has to do with skin colour? It’s like saying “We will portray the Holocaust, but sensitively.” Nope. Uh huh. Can’t be done. Someone somewhere will get in their feelings. Just leave it alone and focus on another creative instead.

Especially as this is not the first time Dove is catching heat for some racially ambiguous advert. They came under fire for being perceived as racially insensitive in 2011, when they released a controversial ad showing three women standing in front of a wall designated in “before” and “after.” The woman standing in front of the “before” image had dark skin, a woman in between had medium-toned skin and the woman in front of the “after” image was white. They also offered some smelling apology after that gaffe and pulled the advert then too.

This ain’t that: this isn’t what Dove did, but bloody hell, they skated close to the edge!

If people boycott Dove Soap over this nonsense, then that’s up to them. If Dove has been kind to your skin, then I hope you have another 100ml of moisturising luxury to fill that gap. Best believe that I, Raysheh, will not be buying some foul-smelling stuff that some “Fight the Power” Afrikan mixed up over her kitchen stove in the name of Buying Black. I haven’t touched Dove in years; I ain’t batting for them, merely saying – get your consumerism (and your skin) right.

Similarly, if you start using Dove because you think they’re a racist company and “Stand up for what you believe in”, then more fool you. They might be, but then again, they might not be. But if there’s one creed they believe in, it’s cash money. So if that till rings because of your beliefs, oh well.

Dove will say and do whatever they need to get the chi-ching. They will teeter on the edge or they will downright plunge off it if their lawyers give them the green light. You can sign up for it or you can boycott it. But this isn’t the harsh racial propaganda that social media is trying to push. Yet.


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