Was the Dove Ad Racist?

Anushka Rajagopalan, Staff Writer

Dove: a company that has been known for not only their popular hygienic products, but has strongly led the world with its diverse and trendy advertisements as well. Although, Dove’s most recent advertisement has been faced with a grandeur of backlash, labelling the company as controversial and racist. The basis of the ad was a diverse group of women using dove products. The clip that drew offense was of an African-American woman taking off her shirt, using the dove product, and turning into a white woman. This caused an outrage, with most people saying how this scene belittled African-American women. Because of the furor of comments depicting this scene, Dove apologized for being “racially insensitive” and deleted the advertisement.
The anger that ignited under this advertisement was due to writers who took this specific clip and gave it the wrong impression. What people failed to mention was that after the white woman appeared, she took off her shirt to reveal an Asian woman. Although, no one seemed to comment that a white woman was belittled for turning into an Asian. Due to other discriminatory events that involve African-Americans, most people felt justice to “stand up for what was right.” Although, this advertisement was clearly, in its whole picture, trying to show that its dove products were for women of all color. Unless the advertisement was showing an African-American woman not liking herself for being colored and tries to “wash it off” like past discriminatory ads, then there would be a valid reason for rage. Although, people fail to realize that it is just showing different ethnic backgrounds with all of the women looking happy with themselves. Again, why doesn’t someone stand up for the white woman turning into an Asian? The people of the internet are the ones who created this idea of racism, who had the thought in the first place. If people looked at the whole advertisement, they would see that it was simply expressing diverse cultures; most advertisements, especially popular brands like Dove, would never film discriminatory scenes purposefully.
Even though looking at the whole picture of this advertisement was essentially not racist and just an overreaction, the Dove company could have filmed this more carefully. The company should have realized that some people are sensitive to scenes such as this, and could have represented these women differently. A main problem that people should have focused on was the label it had on one of its products, which said that it was for “normal to dark skin.” An outrage for this would have been more appropriate, as what could people interpret as normal? And if that skin tone is normal, then what is dark skin supposed to be? Overall, more people should have focused on other aspects of this Dove advertisement, but instead chose to berate a small clip of a scene instead of the big idea; that it was merely showing diversity with women.