‘Racist Dove ad’ taken out of context


MCT Campus

TOO QUICK TO JUDGE. Nigerian model Lola Ogunyemi defends the misinterpreted ad. Ogunyemi originally jumped at the opportunity to model for Dove, seeing it as a way to include more diversity. She was shocked to find that she “had become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising,” Ogunyemi told The Guardian.

Jessica Lu, Staff Writer

After screenshots of a Dove ad surfaced in the media, the internet began exploding with calls to boycott Dove products because of its seemingly racist message.

In the screenshots, the ad for Dove’s cleansers displays a black woman pulling off her T-shirt only to reveal her transformation into a white woman.

However, the Nigerian model Lola Ogunyemi, who was featured in the controversial Dove ad, said that she is not a victim.

The original intent of the ad was “to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness,” said Ogunyemi to The Guardian.

In fact, Ogunyemi was shocked to discover the extent of the media’s reaction.

“If you Google “racist ad” right now, a picture of my face is the first result. I had been excited to be a part of the commercial and promote the strength and beauty of my race, so for it to be met with widespread outrage was upsetting,” Ogunyemi said.

Oguneymi additionally reveals that unlike the misleading screenshots, the full-length Dove ad cast seven women of different ages and races.

“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,'” Oguneymi said.