Inclusivity, Intent, and Dove's Racist Advertising

Inclusivity, Intent, and Dove's Racist Advertising

Dove's problematic advertisement is receiving backlash all over the internet.
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Many Brands have taken it upon themselves to become more inclusive of all people in their advertising campaigns; however, all progress comes with many setbacks, and it just so happens that many of these setbacks are racist in context. Dove, Shea Moisture, and Pepsi to name a few of the brands who are responsible for problematic advertising, have all spoken out against the ads they previously posted stating that it wasn’t their intention to make a racist advertisement, but the damage had already been done making these textbook examples of intention versus impact.

Perhaps Dove did make the mistake they claimed to not realize was a mistake, but this is a spilt milk situation or maybe a chocolate-milk situation. The advertisement that Dove recently released on Facebook depicts a Woman of Color removing her shirt and as the shirt is removed a Caucasian woman appears where the Woman of Color once was, and during the entire advertisement a Dove bottle was placed in the lower right-hand corner. At first glance this seems harmless, but that is only if someone is oblivious to the history of skin whitening and the desire for fair skin by using bleach and cleaning products as an attempt to wash away melanin.

There is a dark history in America of fair skin being preferred over darker skin, of course racism is a factor in this, but specifically speaking about the Black community and internalized racism this advertisement plays upon that preference. The desire to have fair skin is one constructed in a society that favors people who possess this ineffectual trait, and in the recent Dove advertisement this fallacious desire for fair skin is fully depicted. The context of skin whitening and the preference for fair skin is a phenomenon that is talked about frequently in the black community, which is my main concern for the advertisement because it not only reveals how oblivious Dove is but it also may suggest that no people of color were involved in the creation process of the advertisement other than the actor of color included in the beginning, who seems annoyed that the advertisement was being misinterpreted.

How could a brand that preaches about inclusivity not employ people whom they are trying to include? Shea Moisture is another brand responsible for the same misstep, and it’s troubling to think that this will not be the last time a story of this caliber, so what is the solution to this problem? Ironically, the solution is the exact purpose of the advertisements in the first place, diversity, not just on camera but behind the camera and all throughout an organization. If certain voices are left out of a conversation and only present to save face issues such as this advertisement will continue to occur.

The advertisement “missed its mark” as placed by Dove execs who apologized for the ad, but that doesn’t free them for what they did. In situation such as this where intent differs from impact it seems only fair to forgive those who committed the transgression, but it’s not that simple when the issue harms other in the process. Intent is inconsequential when dealing with the impact of that action. Dove’s apology is far from change they are empty words, and this is something observed by many twitter users who have planned to boycott Dove for the time being.

Dove apologized for the offensive advertisement, but what will they actually do to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future?

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Used To Think Height Didn't Matter, But Maybe It Really Does

I've come to a conclusion

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I've had my fair share of boyfriends in the past. A common theme in my past choices of boys is that they were all an inch or two taller than me or the same height. Now, I am a little on the taller side considering that the average height for a woman in the US is 5 feet 4 inches tall. I'm not saying all the tall boys belong to all the tall girls and the shorter guys should stick with shorter girls, but I do think there might be something behind all this madness.

My reasoning for this is simple: I've been in an amazing relationship with someone who is fairly taller than me. Is this reason totally irrational and have no sort of concrete evidence for this argument? Yes, totally, but hear me out. All my other relationships haven't been this good or even had the potential to be this good. Is it a coincidence that they were all shorter? I think not!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with boys who are under 5'9''. There are some nice ones who probably don't talk to 5 other girls while you're dating, I just never happened to come across one back when I was in the game. I just find it interesting that I've been in a really healthy relationship for awhile now with someone who is over 6 feet tall.

Many amazing relationships have happened between all different types of people, no matter the height. It's just if you are having problems with boys who are under 6 feet, you may have some thinking to do.


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