by Jala Everett
On Facebook there was a Dove commercial released a few weeks ago. This commercial has caused controversy around the video. In the video it features a darker toned skin Nigerian girl turning into a white girl, then the white girl, to an Asian girl. To show the change in the races, the Dove commercial showed the girls simply lifting up their shirts to change their skin color. When I saw the commercial I personally was outraged, the girls were taking a “Dove shower”. To me when I think shower, I think of being dirty and needing to be washed off. Dove changing the Nigerian women to a white women gave the impression that this so called “Dove shower” made her cleaner. As if her being black made her dirty in some way, and that becoming white was cleaning herself to be better. To me saying that Dove missed the mark on this commercial is an understatement. In the past, many skin lightening products were made for African-Americans, playing into the societal norm that lighter skin is prettier, and if you are of a darker tone you should make yourself lighter. This making me even more outraged because all shades of skin are beautiful, not just one. The Nigerian women in this video as well spoke out about the commercial saying that she “Hadn’t realized what the product of the video would be, while shooting it the experience was positive, but the outcome was not.” She explained in an article that while shooting the video all the models were having fun and she wished the experience was reflected through the final product, stating how the video controversy painted her as a victim. Saying that she hated that this commercial that was supposed to be her big job completely backfired, and that she was not a victim. This commercial was completely ignorant to the past and the racism in the U.S today. I say this because the video showed support for the societal normality that lighter skin is better, a norm that affects people who don’t fit inside this category. Making some of those people feel less beautiful. Also, let’s not forget that this isn’t the first commercial that Dove released that had a negative reaction from the public. A picture was released about differences in beauty a few years back, which didn’t represent people of all ethnicities. The picture represented the standards of beauty, but was not inclusive. After the first picture Dove released an apology, but as we can see no lesson was learned. Dove, I really want to know who has been coming up with the content for these commercials, and who keeps approving it because this is unacceptable!