Days after Dove got dragged to hell and back for a questionable and racially tone deaf ad, the Black model in the campaign is speaking out.
Lola Ogunyemi claims that she has no issue with the body wash ad and that she’s actually proud to have been part of it, especially since Dove used a model with dark skin in it.
“Having the opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand felt like the perfect way for me to remind the world that we are here, we are beautiful, and more importantly, we are valued,” wrote Ogunyemi in a recent op-ed for The Guardian.
Ogunyemi said that she was initially “excited” to be in the ad until strangers online and her friends painted her a unknowing victim of the popular body wash brand.
“I had been excited to be a part of the commercial and promote the strength and beauty of my race, so for it to be met with widespread outrage was upsetting,” the Nigerian Brit raised in Atlanta wrote.
She also added that the people who sparked the backlash just didn’t get what the ad was trying to say. See, the full 13-second ad, showing her, a white woman and an Asian woman removing their nude tops and changing into each other.
“If I even had 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 off set and out of the door. That is something that goes against everything I stand for.”
“Again, I was the first model to appear in the ad, describing my skin as ‘20% dry, 80% glowing,’ and appearing again at the end. 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,” Ogunyemi stressed.
While she says she understands why folks were upset with the stills—especially seeing them out context—and agrees that Dove was right to apologize, they should have defended the message they were trying to convey harder.
This also included “their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned Black woman, as a face of their campaign,”she added.
As we previously reported, soap giant Dove came under fire for posting an ad that depicted a Black woman peeling off her shirt to reveal that she’s a white woman after using their soap. Critics quickly called the ad “racist” and “deeply ignorant.”
After getting dragged online, Dove later apologized.
On Twitter they wrote:”An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.”
BEAUTIES: What do you think of Ogunyemi’s op-ed? Is she speaking the truth or is she being naive?