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Old October 10th, 2017, 10:34 AM   #1
Living For Love
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Default I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

First of all, some context.

Dove is a personal care brand owned by Unilever. The company posted a 3-second ad to its Facebook page showing a black woman taking off a shirt to reveal a white woman. People blasted the video on social media, saying it suggests people of colour are dirty. Here is the advert (I apologise for the low quality):







After receiving an enormous amount of b(l)acklash, Dove issued an apology saying, "We missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color."

Lola Ogunyemi, the black woman featured in the add, wrote the following article for The Guardian. Her answer to the hateful hypocrites who deemed her a fragile victim not able to stand up for what she believes is absolutely amazing. The following link contains the full article, I'll quote here the bits I find more relevant.

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...d-not-a-victim


Quote:
From a very young age, I’ve been told, “You’re so pretty … for a dark-skinned girl.” I am a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta. I’ve grown up very aware of society’s opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter. I know that the beauty industry has fueled this opinion with its long history of presenting lighter, mixed-race or white models as the beauty standard. [...] And this is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped. 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.

Then one morning, I woke up to a message from a friend asking if the woman in a post he’d seen was really me. I went online and discovered I had become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising. No lie.

[...]

If I had even 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.

However, the experience I had with the Dove team was positive.
I had an amazing time on set. All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective – to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness.

[...]

Then the first Facebook ad was released: a 13-second video clip featuring me, a white woman, and an Asian woman removing our nude tops and changing into each other. I loved it. My friends and family loved it. People congratulated me for being the first to appear, for looking fabulous, and for representing Black Girl Magic. I was proud.

[...]

I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage. Having said that, I can also see that a lot has been left out. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion.

While I agree with Dove’s response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.


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Old October 10th, 2017, 11:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

I think you're misunderstanding her response. She acknowledges that the narrative was clunky and easily misinterpreted; she's just vouching for the fact that Dove genuinely didn't intend to be racist and assured readers that they were perfectly well-intentioned and had great ideas on set. She's not mad at being 'deemed a fragile victim' or answering 'hateful hypocrites', she clearly states at the very beginning that she could see the narrative that everyone interpreted it as and didn't agree with that interpretation as it wasn't the one that was intended.
If you wanna have a discussion on people being quick to be offended and taking things wrong then sure, have fun. But I don't think it's appropriate to mis-represent the model's words in order to formulate some sort of narrative of racial politics.
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Old October 10th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShineintheDark View Post
I think you're misunderstanding her response. She acknowledges that the narrative was clunky and easily misinterpreted; she's just vouching for the fact that Dove genuinely didn't intend to be racist and assured readers that they were perfectly well-intentioned and had great ideas on set. She's not mad at being 'deemed a fragile victim' or answering 'hateful hypocrites', she clearly states at the very beginning that she could see the narrative that everyone interpreted it as and didn't agree with that interpretation as it wasn't the one that was intended.
If you wanna have a discussion on people being quick to be offended and taking things wrong then sure, have fun. But I don't think it's appropriate to mis-represent the model's words in order to formulate some sort of narrative of racial politics.
Nope, you're putting words in my mouth. She actually felt upset that her image was being used as an example of oppression where in fact she never felt oppressed when making the ad. People in general though she was a victim of a racist marketing campaign, which used her image to portray the idea that black people are dirty, making her feel that her work isn't worthy of praise or appreciation but instead just one more example of racism in the fashion industry. She simply came forward to assure those people that that wasn't true, that she has self-determination, that her work is valid, and that she could have simply quit modelling for the campaign in case she was feeling Dove was treating her as an inferior being. While she agrees that people might feel insecure due to the fact that this particular company has been involved in racial issues in the past, she had the courage to them that was not true, in this case, and that despite what people might think, she doesn't consider this whole "adventure" a mistake, but instead a self-empowering experience.


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Old October 10th, 2017, 01:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

It seems rather unlucky so if Dove had wanted to avoid this kind of controversy it could have done the ad the other way round. If they had used the white womenbased the before and the black as the after there wouldn't have been an uproar, right?

No white woman would have had a problem with it had looked like she'd turn black so why doing it like this? Just to get cheap PR?
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Old October 10th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

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Originally Posted by Dalcourt View Post
No white woman would have had a problem with it had looked like she'd turn black so why doing it like this? Just to get cheap PR?
Because then people would criticise Dove for having the white model appear in first place, before the black model.


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Old October 10th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

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Originally Posted by Living For Love View Post
Because then people would criticise Dove for having the white model appear in first place, before the black model.
Honestly, it's not the first time a Dove ad caused some sort of racist uproar...so as I said they just do it to get attention and enough people are silly enough to go all for it.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

I think social justice advocates need better "troll" detection before they jump on a bandwagon.

It's a very complex dance when dealing with any type of art expression that can be "interpreted".

If it can be "interpreted" it is a weak point for a bad actor to obsfucate the meaning.


With that said, I'll continue to buy dove products and ignore ads.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 07:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living For Love View Post
Nope, you're putting words in my mouth. She actually felt upset that her image was being used as an example of oppression where in fact she never felt oppressed when making the ad. People in general though she was a victim of a racist marketing campaign, which used her image to portray the idea that black people are dirty, making her feel that her work isn't worthy of praise or appreciation but instead just one more example of racism in the fashion industry. She simply came forward to assure those people that that wasn't true, that she has self-determination, that her work is valid, and that she could have simply quit modelling for the campaign in case she was feeling Dove was treating her as an inferior being. While she agrees that people might feel insecure due to the fact that this particular company has been involved in racial issues in the past, she had the courage to them that was not true, in this case, and that despite what people might think, she doesn't consider this whole "adventure" a mistake, but instead a self-empowering experience.
And in this you misrepresent your OWN point. Did you not use the phrases 'b(l)acklash' and 'hateful hypocrites' when mentioning the response to the campaign, implying that your point carried at least a certain extent of commentary on racial and reactionary politics? Curiously I see a lack of that in your response to me. There's no point parroting what she says if you're going to be underhand about the message you're trying to portray.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

How many people does a ad needs to get through before it is released? No one before the release of this ad thought that some people might find it a little racists? They should have known this would happen

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Old October 11th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim. - Lola Ogunyemi

This whole stuff just shows that one can interpret every shit one way or another. In any case here is once again a mountain is made out of a molehill.
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