By now, you must’ve heard that Dove, the cosmetic brand under the larger umbrella of Unilever — that services both the U.S. and the U.K. — is currently battling the consequences of an ill-conceived ad — that was meant to prove the badge of Whiteness against the dirtiness of color.
The outcry apparently began on Facebook — and once the ad became public and the initial reception erupted into a protest — the company was forced to issue a statement that expectedly contained the language necessary to convince us that “this was just one of those things.”
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”
The inherent decision to sell a product on the basis that the preferred default is a freshly-cleaned White woman who started out stained with a darker complexion, before Dove arrived to Whitewash her back to form — is a specific endeavor.
Evidently, Dove has had a quite a time perpetuating damaging narratives that aim to celebrate the cleanliness of Whiteness while reiterating the stereotypical assignments — reserved for darker shades that ironically seem to besought-after when the sun decides to smile long enough for the “browning moments.”
There have been theories attempting to breakdown the mind-boggling decision to illustrate a Black woman gladly releasing her herself to the globally-appealing template — that is responsible for miserable models of color during fashion week — who can’t find anyone to pretty them up in the manner that matches their White counterparts.
The reason why the dove ad is a lot worse than it seems — is because it’s not as simple as heroically admitting a terrible mistake when there’s no vow to abstain from the potent messaging of division. It’s not just another mishap in the mandated world of “diversity” or the misunderstanding of well-meaning executives who are desperate to sell the virtues of the signature white bar of soap — at any cost.
It’s the blatant blindness to something that is so clearly illustrated without hidden references or image trickery. We are really seeing a Black woman going through the motions of evolution that ends with her revered Whiteness — that can only be achieved if you’re crazy as fuck for Dove’s Whitewashing properties.
The reason why this whole situation is a lot worse than you might consider — is secured in the privilege of Whiteness that makes allowances for wrongdoings that are usually regulated to endorsed excuses.
If a White middle-aged White guy strategically buys the view to a kill — his actions are deemed redeemable through extensive research that unearths all the reasons why he can’t be described as a “terrorist.” There is a systemized currency that only accepts societal graces from the ones that are naturally clean and free from the filth of their definition.
The color white has been historically propped as the ambitious state of being. Fairy tales are packaged around the loveliness of Snow White and advertising overwhelms us with products that promise to get us back to white surfaces — with as little effort as possible.
The steady adherence to the erasure of Black beauty in its primeness has been a steadfast anthem that has given prestigious cosmetic houses the initiative to consistently saturate the market — with hues that match the wintry elements.
This is why an ad featuring a Black woman becoming a White prototype is akin to a horror flick that gets way too personal.
The mixture of Get Out and Single White Female was depicted in my realm, but the notion that it’s acceptable to openly Whitewash palettes — in order to retain the norm that’s always been challenged and defeated — gives the impression that Whitewashing will never fail to lather up.
It’s extremely reckless for a a brand like Dove — to indulge in the messaging for erasure — especially when buying power is essential for survival.
So, if you’re truly offended by the ad — the only way to show it is to hit where it hurts.
Anyone with color and the pride of Blackness who spends money on products from a manufacturer that is profiting off of the shades of unfairness — is sadly empowering the forces that work against us.
The ad wasn’t a mistake — it was a purposeful attack with the aid of coverage — that might actually garner extra numbers from racist bastards who actually bathe. But, there is no mistaking the vile choice of delivery that was meant to incite fury and give Whiteness the added attention it never deserves.
If we’re still dissecting the crippling symptoms of poor judgment from Whites who think that white should always win — then that’s the signal that nothing might ever change — and those efforts should be shifted to war and victory.
We can no longer accept scheduled apologies for bad behavior that spans centuries and continues to give Black pain the activation for pulsing through the rubble of White greed, White profiteering, and White lies.
How appropriate that “white lies” has the definition of being the “better version” of lies — because of the motivation behind doing the right thing under the guise of a story that isn’t quite true.
There is no more room for patience and understanding after the evacuation of an idea that is more divisive in ways that make diversity seem like a thoroughly bad idea.
Maybe this is a strike back to Rihanna’s #FentyBeauty empire — that actually dares to produce the spectrum of gorgeousness that will surely revolutionize a sorely stagnant industry.
The ad is a sad recognition of silent worthlessness from those who profess to be on the edge of the future. It’s a major middle finger to the darker hues of supremeness that are naturally born to combat the most stubborn leeches — that leave red spots on skin that lacks the security of melanin.
The “fuck up” of staging the encounter of White over Black wasn’t a misstep with the best of intentions, but rather a designed punch in the gut with the sway of privilege — that incites the glory of ignorance — by the drastic sweep back to the business of deception.
But, the conception of beauty won’t be weighed down by the westernized design that can longer hold on for dear life. The Whiteness of Dove and consumers who yearn for the label — will continue to reign until the darkness of change gives light to bubbles of blended ideals.
While we wait — don’t let the lightness fool you and always stay completely in the dark — because that’s the only way to see though the shit.