The Black model in the controversial Dove ad that had people screaming racism is finally speaking out!
Lola Ogunyemi wants folks to know that she is nobody’s victim and that she’s proud to have been part of the campaign, especially since it featured a dark-skinned Black woman.
“Having the opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand felt like the perfect way for me to remind the world that we are here, we are beautiful, and more importantly, we are valued,” Ogunyemi wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian.
Ogunyemi explained that at first she was mad “excited” to be in the ad until she was called a victim and a willing participant in white folks’ racism.
“I had been excited to be a part of the commercial and promote the strength and beauty of my race, so for it to be met with widespread outrage was upsetting,” the Nigerian Brit said.
She also wants critics to know that they only saw a tiny portion of the campaign and didn’t really get the message Dove was trying to make. Apparently, the full 13-second ad, shows her, a white woman and an Asian woman removing their nude tops and changing into each other.
“If I even had 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.’ I would have (un)happily walked right off set and out of the door. That is something that goes against everything I stand for.”
She added: “Again, I was the first model to appear in the ad, describing my skin as ‘20% dry, 80% glowing,’ and appearing again at the end. I loved it, and everyone around me seemed to as well. I think the full TV edit does a much better job of making the campaign’s message loud and clear.”
Either way: Ogunyemi got paid, backlash or not!
What y’all think? Is she making sense or is she stuck in the Sunken Place?
Tracey Pennywell is a writer, foodie, dog lover & CEO of Switch Media, Inc, a blog management and social media company with clients that include DL Hughley, Michael Blackson, Kym Whitley, Tatyana Ali & more.