Another day, another racially insensitive ad.
Today, Dove is being dragged for comparing Black women to dirtiness in a wildly misguided ad for body wash that ran on Facebook.
In the ad — which has since been taken off Facebook — a Black woman takes off her brown shirt and becomes a white woman in a pale shirt, seemingly representing the process of going from dirty to clean.
The inappropriateness seems so obvious. It directly places the Black woman on the dirty side of the spectrum, and a white woman on the clean side.
Seriously, what is that about? Why did the woman have to switch her whole race just to represent the fresh feeling you get after showering? Aren't there better ways to demonstrate that without involving skin color? Maybe a wrinkled shirt? A gardening outfit complete with dirt smudges?
In the name of all things creative, where was the discernment here?
Revelist also reached out to Dove directly and the brand responded with the following statement:
"As a part of a campaign for Dove Body Wash, a 3-second video clip was posted to the US Facebook page which featured three women of different ethnicities, each removing a t-shirt to reveal the next woman. The short video was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity, but we got it wrong. It 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.
We have removed the post and have not published any other related content. This should not have happened and we are re-evaluating our internal processes for creating and approving content to prevent us making this type of mistake in future. We apologize deeply and sincerely for the offense that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience."
The #BoycottDove outrage isn't just about poor taste pictures. "Throughout the greater half of the twentieth century, African Americans were stereotyped as dirty and contaminated," reads Psychology Today.
"Although it is easy to imagine that lower income individuals may not have had sufficient money for cleaning supplies and might be less concerned about cleanliness, this was simply never true about African Americans," the writer continued.
"Rather, this stereotype festered to justify laws segregating Black and White Americans under the false notion of cleanliness and disease prevention. Segregation statutes prevented Blacks and Whites from utilizing the same restrooms, drinking fountains, and swimming facilities under the assumption that Whites would be contaminated by shared use."
It's also worth nothing that while we aren't living in segregation days, this sort of shunning still happens in other ways — like when we apply for housing and get denied because of assumptions about how Black people live.
In other words, this isn't about body wash. Linking Black people to dirtiness does more than just make us "feel bad." It perpetuates falsehoods about us that affect how we get treated.
Not cool, Dove.