The Nigerian lady, Lola Ogunyemi, who was used for Dove advert which a lot of people described as racist has spoken out. Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Lola said that if she had even the slightest inclination that she would be portrayed as inferior, or as the “before” in a before and after shot, she would have rejected the job. Read what she wrote below…
From a very young age, I’ve been told, “You’re so pretty … for a dark-skinned girl.” I am a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta. I’ve grown up very aware of society’s opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter.
I know that the beauty industry has fueled this opinion with its long history of presenting lighter, mixed-race or white models as the beauty standard. Historically, and in many countries still today, darker models are even used to demonstrate a product’s skin-lightening qualities to help women reach this standard.
This repressive narrative is one I have seen affect women from many different communities I’ve been a part of. And this is why, when Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped.
Having the opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand felt like the perfect way for me to remind the world that we are here, we are beautiful, and more importantly, we are valued.
Then one morning, I woke up to a message from a friend asking if the woman in a post he’d seen was really me. I went online and discovered I had become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising. No lie.
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.
Calls were being made to boycott Dove products, and friends from all over the world were checking on me to see if I was OK. I was overwhelmed by just how controversial the ad had become.
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”. I would have (un)happily walked right off set and out of the door. That is something that goes against everything I stand for.
However, the experience I had with the Dove team was positive. I had an amazing time on set. All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective – to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness.
I remember all of us being excited at the idea of wearing nude T-shirts and turning into one another. We weren’t sure how the final edit was going to look, nor which of us would actually be featured in it, but everyone seemed to be in great spirits during filming, including me.
Then the first Facebook ad was released: a 13-second video clip featuring me, a white woman, and an Asian woman removing our nude tops and changing into each other. I loved it. My friends and family loved it. People congratulated me for being the first to appear, for looking fabulous, and for representing Black Girl Magic. I was proud.
Then, the full, 30-second TV commercial was released in the US, and I was over the moon again. There were seven of us in the full version, different races and ages, each of us answering the same question: “If your skin were a wash label, what would it say?”
Again, I was the first model to appear in the ad, describing my skin as “20% dry, 80% glowing”, and appearing again at the end. I loved it, and everyone around me seemed to as well. I think the full TV edit does a much better job of making the campaign’s message loud and clear.
There is definitely something to be said here about how advertisers need to look beyond the surface and consider the impact their images may have, specifically when it comes to marginalized groups of women. It is important to examine whether your content shows that your consumer’s voice is not only heard, but also valued.
I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage. Having said that, I can also see that a lot has been left out. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion.
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. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.
Source: The Guardian
Comedian Woli Agba Gifts Cars To Crew Members
Nigerian comedian and gospel singer, Ayo Ajewole alias Woli Agba, recently surprised three members of his crew with brand new cars.
The comedian’s right man and ministry son, Mide Oladimeji, otherwise known as Dele Omo Woli Agba, took to his Instagram page to share the exciting news.
Dele Omo Woli Agba posted a video which captured the moment each of them received the car gifts.
The young man captioned the post with the words;
“Words fail me I can’t contain my JOY. My daddy bought me a car. IPM not only me oooooo and also to our manager. Ko tan sibe. Pastor OJO is not excluded 3 cars at a time KPK. Thank you Daddy @woliagba_ayoajewole Thank you @olori_olaifeayo”
See the screenshot of the post below:
‘I Don’t Want To Return To Lagos’, Toke Makinwa Says From Her Vacation Abroad
Popular media personality, Toke Makinwa, has shared her desire to remain at her vacation spot and not return to Lagos via her Snapchat account.
The actress, author, vlogger and entrepreneur says in the video:
“People, I am serious about this. This is the life I was made for. Like, I did not come to this life to suffer. I don’t want to come back to Lagos.
I just want to enjoy, just be relaxing and be taken care of. I have lived a ‘stressless’ life in the last two days. This has been an ultimate getaway for me.
I am absolutely loving it, guys. I’m loving it. I don’t want to come to Lagos again.”
Watch the video below:
Davido Celebrates Late Mom On Her Posthumous Birthday
Popular Nigerian singer, Davido wished his late mother, Veronica Adeleke a happy birthday via his Instagram page on Monday.
The ‘FEM’ crooner commemorated his mum, Veronica Adeleke on her posthumous birthday.
According to reports, Veronica died of cardiac arrest at the age of 39 in March, 2003.
The singer, who still holds memories of his dear mother close to his heart, posted a throwback photo of them with the caption;
“Happy Birthday Mama … love and miss you always”
Information Nigeria recalls that the singer got emotional after his fiancée, Chioma Avril Rowland gifted him a necklace with a photo of himself and his mother.
Read Also: Davido Shows Off Birthday Gift From Chioma
See his post below:
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