The complex issues of the Dove Ad

Earlier in the month, Dove released an ad that upset a many of their customers.

The company uploaded a picture on their Facebook page of a black woman lifting up her brown shirt to reveal a white woman with a white shirt on. In the corner of the picture was a bottle of Dove body wash. The picture caused outrage all over social media. People of color were saying that they were going to stop using Dove products.

It was weird to see Dove post something like this because just a month before, they posted videos on their Twitter account about real beauty, and the videos showed women of different backgrounds. When I first saw the picture, I was shocked because I use Dove. I have sensitive skin, and Dove products do well with my skin, as they don’t cause me to have rashes and breakouts. Not only do I use the soap, but I use the deodorant as well. After I saw the picture I thought that maybe I shouldn’t use Dove anymore because I am a black woman, and if this is what they think of me, I don’t want any of my money to go to their company. I was offended because, as a woman of color, I interpreted the picture as Dove saying that black people are dirty, and they need to clean themselves up with Dove.

Dove issued an apology on their Twitter account that said that they “missed the mark on representing women of color thoughtfully.” I later saw the actual ad that showed three women. Both of the women that were in the image that was posted on Facebook were in the ad, and another woman who was Hispanic was in the ad. The ad showed the women taking off their shirt and switching to next woman. The first woman shown was the black woman, then the white woman, and last was the Hispanic woman. The shirts that were worn matched the women’s skin tone. After I saw the actual ad, I was no longer offended. It seemed as if the ad was supposed to show diversity, and that Dove could be used for women of all skin tones and ethnicities.

I was relieved to see the full ad because I didn’t know what I was going to do about my soap and deodorant. Dove was put back in my good graces after that. It wasn’t until I began writing this article that I saw that Dove issued a statement two days after their apology. They said the ad “was intended to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and is a celebration of diversity, but we got it wrong.” They removed the ad and didn’t post anything else relating to the subject matter.

Dove shouldn’t have released the picture, or they at least should have included all three women in the picture. If the picture had all three women in it, I don’t think the message would have been misinterpreted. I don’t think that Dove is receiving anymore backlash for this. This was all just a big misunderstanding, and they shouldn’t suffer in sales. After seeing the video, many of the people who were speaking out on social media agreed with my point of view, and said that the ad didn’t offend them, and they were still going to use Dove products. It’s okay Dove; we all mistakes. Just don’t let it happen again!


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