For those who don’t know, the hair care line, Shea Moisture, released an ad about not hating your hair that featured two Caucasian women and one Black woman with light skin and really fine curly hair. At the end of the ad, we see a dark skin woman with “kinky” hair in the midst of a collage of women (she’s EASILY MISSED).
Of course, the sistas went off (this sista included). Unfortunately, people assume we’re mad because they’re including other races…but that’s not at all the problem. Let me break this down.
People aren’t upset because they’re including other races. People are upset because that particular commercial about loving your hair excluded the hair types that are typically unwelcome in society and deemed “ugly“. Let’s be real, White women have PLENTY hair products marketed to them and numerous commercials that cater to them.
So, why can’t we expect proper presentation from a brand marketing itself to Black women with a claim of specializing in our kinks?
We can. And, we will. Unapologetically.
We are proud to see a Black owned business expand, but what you DON’T do is erase kinky sistas – the women who initially supported you and put you on the map – so you can appeal to other folk. They’re talking about loving your hair, and had not a single kink in that commercial ( and NO, we are not giving points for the kinky cameo at the end, if you blinked you’d miss it. No.)
Kinky hair is the hair that’s least celebrated, so it makes sense we (Black women) are upset to see a Black owned business who built a brand catering to Black women with natural hair (often kinky), create a commerical about overcoming “hair hate” that excludes the audience who need to hear it the most.
Can you name three ads that tell Black women to love their kinks? Me either. This is the problem.
Yes, they may be great people. But great people can make mistakes. People have a right to their feelings. And just because they’re “expanding” doesn’t mean the sistas that celebrated them when they were a new company should be relegated to the back of the bus…or in this case, commerical. This is how it starts.
No one is saying DON’T INCLUDE WHITE WOMEN OR OTHER RACES, but we ARE saying DON’T exclude us.
Too often, companies that cater to us forget about us when they hit the mainstream. We just don’t want to be forgotten. At the end of the day, no matter how many products for WOC other companies make, they never forget the ones they were created to serve.
But, I haven’t given up on them completely. I believe in giving people chances to rectify the wrong, everyone makes mistakes – even companies – so I’m not about to shut them out….I will, however, keep my eyes open to see how they move forward.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to chime in in the comments section (respectfully, of course) and don’t forget to share!