I jumped on the computer just now to finish up a guest post for a friend. Logged into Facebook for a quick peek and saw this posted on my cousin’s wall. I’ll spare you the expletives she attached to the photo, but I’m sure you can guess what they were.
SERIOUSLY?! SERIOUSLY?! Now, this isn’t an offense to white people, I love ya’ll but I just can’t imagine any minority was sitting around the conference table when this was pitched and voted on. I just can’t. And if there were, then they should have had the balls to raise their hand, and awareness as to the bigger message being sent out here. From a branding perspective, is this the type of message you want to be sending out to your consumers? Especially your minority ones? That our “nappy, uncivilized” hair needs to be changed, altered, “tamed”, gotten rid of, “controlled” or that what God gave us is somehow undignified? Excuse me?! And what kind of message does this send to your white consumers, Nivea? I’ll tell you what it does-it keeps perpetuating the stereotypes already out there, especially in corporate America. Natural hair is unruly and unfit for the business or professional world.
Now I’m not even going to get into how this goes back to slave days when lights were preferred over darker-skinned Africans and how that began the viscious stereotypes and cycles that exist today. The stereotypes that have so many black celebrities and regular women spending thousands on hair from India in order to look “civilized.” And I won’t mention how having Rihanna look about as light and pale as your lotion in your ads promoting her song and her as your new spokesperson. I won’t get into that, I’m sure the internet is ablaze with other folks chatting about it.
I’m just here to add my gasoline laced digital voice to the online fiery backlash. Because social media gives me the power to. I’m just here to sit in bafflement and disgust over how ignorant the group of individuals who pitched & approved this are. I’m just here to sit and watch the PR nightmare you’re in. I hope when you wake up from it, your company has learned a thing or two and reevaluates your core values & beliefs.
And Rihanna-not that I dug your music that much anyway since you decided to start oversexualizing yourself and only spoke out against domestic violence when it benefitted your album release-but now? You definitely won’t catch me buying any magazines, products or watching any media you do as long as you’re their spokesperson. Because if Nivea stands for this, and you’re okay with that….that just goes to show short you’ve really sold yourself-and your fans.
Now that my appetite has been destroyed, I think I’ll just go back to trying to enjoy my morning with my kids….and my “uncivilized” au-natural AFRO.