People Are Not Happy About This Racially Insensitive Dove Ad

Although Dove is normally a brand that gives us some serious hope as far as diversifying the shapes, sizes and skin tones we see in beauty advertising, tons of women were calling the brand out on social media Monday for an ad that seriously seems to have missed the mark.

As Refinery29 reports, the company posted a GIF to its Facebook page over the weekend featuring a loop of a black woman reaching down and lifting up her shirt to reveal a white woman while a bottle of Dove shower gel is displayed in the lower right corner — which, many said, problematically implied that the black woman was "turning white" after using Dove soap to "clean" herself. Not a good look.

Things look even worse when you consider the fact that, as many Twitter users pointed out, soap ads have a history of being incredibly racist (including those made many years ago by Dove's own parent company, Unilever).

While the damage has already been done, the company apologized after taking down the ad over the weekend. "The visual was intended to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity, but we got it wrong and as a result offended many people," a representative from Dove told Cosmopolitan in a statement. "We are deeply sorry. We have removed the post and have not published any related content. We do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience. We are re-evaluating our internal processes for creating and reviewing content."

Apologizing is the first step, but let's be honest — mistakes like these can be prevented when companies with a powerful voice like Dove have women of color contributing to advertising campaigns — and in this instance, they clearly didn't.

This isn't the first time Dove has inspired a social media sh*tshow with attempts to demonstrate diversity — earlier this year, the company released bottles that were meant to be shaped like women's bodies, and it didn't go over too well either.