Social Media has gone nuts with Dove’s recent beauty campaign and for some reasons even though the world is going crazy about it, I’m not upset…heck I’m not even moved.
To be fair it’s a bit off the Dove radar considering the brand as always been about appreciating yourself the way you are and real beauty. They have done this for years with the Dove Real Beauty Pledge when they launched the ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. They even went as far as contracting Shonda Rhimes to make mini films celebrating the theme. Rhimes has in turn created several TV shows that feature minority women as lead characters.
Yes, I get why there’s a lot of backlash however this is how I think about it. Everyone… yes everyone including you is racist in some sort of way. Before you get too defensive, check out Merriam Webster’s definition of Racism
“a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”
In the Nigerian context you can substitute race for tribe. So many times, I’ve seen African guys get upset that an African girl is going out or getting married to a Caucasian man because “he’s white….what happened to all the black guys out there”. Heck, I’ve also seen and heard a lot of us as Nigerians say things along the lines of “he’s Igbo naw…that’s how they are” or even “no oo…I can never date a Yoruba man”.
The point I’m making is, more often than not, we’ve all made racist statements and passed our biases unto other people. Our all so ‘racist/tribalistic’ point of views have also affected the way we treat people and how we react to them. The only difference between us and Dove in this case is they are a bigger brand. I say ‘bigger’ because every human technically is their own brand. Back to the point: they are a bigger brand so their racial biases are more open and now seen by all.
Do I like the message they portrayed by Dove, heck no, but what am I going to do about it? I’ll react rather than talking. I get that talking helps as we have seen with Martin Luther King Jnr and his fight for racial equality in the US. However talking doesn’t help to eradicate it completely, it just ensures people are not so vocal and are more conscious and sensitive to others cultural differences.
Personally, rather than talk people down for not seeing things my way or appreciating my uniqueness, I’ll go to places and in this case brands that celebrate me and what I stand for. And this is why till date, I use Dudu Osun Black Soap… I mean my black soap can’t be racist to my black a$$.