Why is the beauty industry telling black women to be white???
Last month, Unilever was forced to pull its Dove ad featuring a black woman turning into a white woman after using their body wash after a worldwide backlash.
This time, Nivea is facing racism storm over an appalling advert showing a black woman applying ‘skin lightening cream’ and getting a ‘visibly fairer skin’. The campaign for “Natural Fairness Body Lotion”, which is being displayed across Africa, features former Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi looking disappointingly at her own skin.
“I need a product that I can really trust to restore my skin’s natural fairness,” she says. But after applying Nivea’s Natural Fairness Body Lotion, which a narrator says can ‘visibly lighten’ skin, the woman beams. “Now, I have visibly fairer skin, making me feel younger,” she adds.
On Twitter, users have expressed their anger at the racist advert with many using the hash tag #PULLITDOWN to demand it be taken down.
This is why black businesses need to rise up and cater for our needs. Nivea can’t get away with pushing this skin lightening agenda across Africa. Appalling. pic.twitter.com/8uR7XHNgVa
— William Adoasi (@WilliamAdoasi) October 18, 2017
— A M A N F U O ✌🏾 (@ghcounty) October 17, 2017
— Fuse ODG (@FuseODG) October 18, 2017
Critics say the ad not only conveys that acting and looking white is better, it contributes to the ideals of white supremacy and anti-blackness by promoting self hatred in the black community. Hip-hop artist Ramey Dawoud told Newsweek:
“As a Pan-African, I believe ads such as this one do nothing but hold us back. Our youth see these ads and a seed of self-hate gets planted in their subconscious. To see these ads suggesting and dictating what is beautiful for us was never and will never be acceptable.”
Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, who has become the most vocal critic of the beauty industry, has slammed Nivea for glorifying skin lightening:
“Perpetuating the notion that fairer skin is more beautiful, more youthful is so damaging and plays into the racist narrative so prevalent in the beauty industry, that whiteness or light skin is the standard that we should all strive for. Empowerment is not too much to ask for. All black skin is beautiful, no exceptions, so celebrate us as we are instead of asking us to adhere to unattainable and racist ideals.”