Home / Lifestyle / Dove model in 'racist' ad says 'I'm not a victim'

Dove model in 'racist' ad says 'I'm not a victim'

Model Lola Ogunyemi said that she was “over the moon” with the Dove ad she appeared in and that the few seconds of it that upset people were taken out of context.

In the ad, the London-born, Atlanta-raised Nigerian model, Ogunyemi, appears to be removing a shirt in multiple frames, eventually transforming into a white woman. But this is only part of the 30 second spot, she said, and she was shocked to learn that it made her an “unwitting poster child for racist advertising,” she wrote for the Guardian on Tuesday.

“If you Google ‘racist ad’ right now, a picture of my face is the first result,” she wrote. But, “I am not a victim,” she added, before explaining that after the white woman comes another, who is Asian, and that there are seven women of various ethnic backgrounds in the complete ad.

The clip of the ad spot showing only Ogunyemi and the woman after her received understandable backlash, she said. It invoked a historically racist stereotype that dark skin is dirty and needs to be cleaned.

Dove apologizes for racially insensitive ad

Ogunyemi said that if the ad was of only her and the white model, she would have turned Dove down immediately.

Ogunyemi said that if the ad was of only her and the white model, she would have turned Dove down immediately.

(Dove)

“(We) missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully,” Dove said in an apologetic statement issued on Saturday. “(The video) did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened.”

Ogunyemi said that if the ad was of only her and the white model, she would have turned Dove down immediately.

“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,'” she wrote.

And she would know if an advertisement was trying to patronize her. Ogunyemi graduated from Emory Univesity with a degree in psychology, has an MBA and works for a digital marketing agency in London, according to her online bio.

Princess Nokia takes credit for tossing soup at L-train racist

Ogunyemi wrote that she supports Dove’s decision to apologize for the ad but said that the company also could have “defended their creative vision” and decision to feature her “as a face of their campaign.”

“I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign,” she said. “I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.”

Tags:
racial injustice

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet

Life_Style Rss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*