Dove has apologized for a series of fucked-up ads it promoted on Facebook, but Munroe Bergdorf, the British model whom L’Oréal fired last month for speaking out against white supremacy, says that the ads speak to a problem far greater than just the imagery itself.
The advertising campaign in question showed a black woman taking off her top to reveal a white woman underneath. Considering the racist history of how soap has been marketed, this was a really poor choice for Dove’s ad team to make, to say the least.
An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused.
— Dove (@Dove) October 7, 2017
“An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully,” the official @Dove handle tweeted. “We deeply regret the offense it caused.”
“This 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,” the company followed up in a statement, per the BBC. “We have removed the post and have not published any other related content. We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused.”
The ads are are not only bad, but they are also an expression of something far greater, says model Munroe Bergdorf. She spoke to that in a Facebook post she wrote on Sunday, continuing her recent efforts to get companies to view diversity as more than just “a buzzword or a trend” and people of color as more than just “a source of revenue.”
“The fact that so many beauty brands are missing the mark when it comes to promoting diversity[is] a sign that as a society, many white people and institutions just do not know how to approach issues [that do not affect their daily life like] race or lack of diversity,” she said. “This just isn’t good enough. The fact that this [Dove ad] must have gone through so many sign-offs before reaching the public. Shows that you’re either not hiring POC or not listening to them when they voice their concerns.”
“Do better,” Bergdorf, who recently landed a beauty campaign with Illamasqua, said in closing. “We deserve better.”