Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Nigerian Model in 'Racist' Dove Ad Defends Campaign

Nigerian Model in 'Racist' Dove Ad Defends Campaign

She said she was proud to represent Black women and that all the models who participated were excited about the idea of each one removing their skin-colored tops and changing into one another.

"As a part of a campaign for Dove body wash, a 3-second video clip was posted to the US Facebook page".

"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", she wrote.

'Having the opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand felt like the ideal way for me to remind the world that we are here, we are lovely, and more importantly, we are valued.

As we previously reported, soap giant Dove came under fire for posting an ad that depicted a Black woman peeling off her shirt to reveal that she's a white woman after using their soap.

The commercial was deemed "racially insensitive" by many on social media, and the backlash forced Dove to remove the images and issue an apology, claiming it had "missed the mark" when representing women of colour. She supported the campaign's objective as using "our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness".

Ogunyemi, who is of Nigerian ancestry, was born in London and grew up in Atlanta.

Ogunyemi says her experience with Dove was "positive" and that all the actresses on the set understood what Dove was aiming for.

But that was not the intent of the current ad that she was a part of, Ogunyemi wrote. "And this is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped", she went on to say. The screenshot was taken from a three-second ad that Dove debuted on Friday via Facebook.

Ogunyemi said she was thrilled by the campaign until she began to hear from friends and acquaintances that she was the "unwitting poster child for racist advertising".

She also said a version presented as a TV commercial included seven women of different races and ages.

"Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity", the company wrote. "I would have been the first to say an emphatic "no". She added that she is also aware of previous advertisements that have sparked outrage from the public due to their offensive nature.

"The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion", Ogunyemi wrote.

"I know that the beauty industry has fuelled this opinion with its long history of presenting lighter, mixed-race or white models as the beauty standard".

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