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Dove apology for 'racist' advert branded 'pathetic' by Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui

Singer said advert was 'purely racist' and criticised Dove for its apology

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Monday 09 October 2017 13:57
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Dinah Jane, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, and Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony at the 2017 MTV awards
Dinah Jane, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, and Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony at the 2017 MTV awards

Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui has tweeted a scathing retort to Dove's apology over an advert that was accused of racism and whitewashing.

It showed a black woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman, who then took off her shirt to reveal a woman of colour.

Viewers said there were racist implications of a soap advert showing a black woman transforming into a white woman, with some critics accusing it of suggesting that black skin is “dirty” and pointing out the historial legacy of racism in soap commercials.

The body wash advert was removed from Dove's Facebook after criticism, and the company posted an apology.

It said the advert “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... we apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused”.

However, the apology has also attracted criticism in itself. Jauregui tweeted: “I wanna know what it was SUPPOSED to do for women of colour. It was purely racist. There's no debate and this is a pathetic apology.”

And writing for The Independent, Biba Kang said that their defence about the screenshot of the black model transforming into a white one being taken out of context “misses the point”.

“The reason that the transformation of a black woman into a white woman struck such an unpleasant chord was that it seemed to make blatant a process that the beauty industry often more subtly alludes to.

“Many beauty products are hinged upon the ideal of whiteness... this Dove advert has functioned as a sinister trigger for all the issues that remain unsolved [within the beauty industry] and for the overarching, disturbing and depressing reality that women of colour are still being taught that they are less than beautiful.”

You can read Biba Kang's full piece on the Dove advert here.

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