Why The Nivea Ad Is Racist While Dove Is Not

Nivea can now finally be added to the Hall of Fame for racist beauty ads. And to think they almost managed to get by till now.

Yes, finally Nivea can truly claim to be a beauty product seeing as they have finally advocated and advertised fair skin and how much better a woman’s life gets when she gets that.

For those unaware of the issue, this is regarding Nivea’s latest product ‘Natural Fairness Body Lotion’ that is creating rage across the net for the blatant racism shown in it.

What You Do Nivea?

The ad features Omowunmi Akinnifesi, former Miss Nigeria, who is sad because of her dull skin and wants ‘a product she can really trust to restore her skin’s natural fairness’ as the advert goes.

After using Nivea Natural Fairness Body Lotion her skin is shown to ‘visibly lighten’.

Later when she goes to pick up her daughter from school, a man mistakes her as the sister instead of the mother, indicating to how youthful and good her skin looks.

One, okay, that last part was completely picked from our Indian Santoor ads, don’t understand why Nivea is copying from our ads, and next if one can overlook that is the outright racism.

nivea ad racist

Nivea at this point is not even trying to hide behind polite terms like ‘dull skin’ or ‘clear skin’, instead they are fully encouraging ‘fair’ skin as the solution to feeling good about yourself.

And not just that, but they also seem to be saying that it is ‘healthy for your skin’ to be fair instead of dark. How is that not wrong?

I do wonder exactly how this ad even got approved in the first place. Till now Nivea has not really addressed or given any kind of statement about this ad and the response it has gotten.

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Dove Did Nothing Wrong

A lot of sites and people have compared this ad with the recent Dove ad which showed a black woman taking off her shirt and the other side a white woman appeared.

But I would say that the Dove ad was not racist in the least. Perhaps their approach could have been better, but all the negative backlash they got was not really warranted.

The ad was extremely taken out of context at several places and if shown in its entirety it does not really seem as racist.

nivea ad racist

First, the ad was barely 3 seconds, and sure it showed a black woman first, taking off her shirt and changing into a white woman, but then the white woman also took off her shirt and changed into a brown girl (cannot really determine whether is Latino or Middle-Eastern).

This emphasises their step to encourage ‘diversity’ and even the black model from the Dove ad, Lola Ogunyemi, clarified her position in an article in The Guardian where she stated that the advert was taken out of context and does not promote racism.

Dove even immediately sent out an apology through their Twitter saying that: “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark of representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused.”

Now, the question to ask is, which brand you think was racist and handled the media madness well. And which brand you think you will choose to support.


Image Credits: Google Images

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