#AllHairMatters Backlash Just Got Real for Shea Moisture!

Last month was a worldwind of trouble and entertaining drama for any company taking a political stance on issues. As of recently, compaines like Shea Moisture - a black- owned hair company made primarly for Africans and African Americans, have been the latest victims of unethical backlash with the release of their recent 'hair hate' commerical. Check it out below:

 While the ad does convey a beautiful message, the company went about it the wrong way. The ad discussed hair struggles the women faced growing up and how Shea Moisture allowed them to embrace natural tresses and beauty.  Four of the five women stars of the commercial were white, while the remaining woman seemed as though she is of multiple racial backgrounds, with loose curls and light skin. More women of color are shown at the very end of the commercial, but only in small blocks for one or two seconds.

 

Nevertheless, Black Twitter tore this campagin to shreds expressing the lack of diversity among black women (their main consumers) and the need to show love for all hair textures. This rising hatred for the company's choice of promotion has resulted in a decline of Shea Moisture users and for the commerical to be pulled from air.

In a desperate attempt to maintain its fanbase, Shea Moisture responded with several remarks from their Facebook page:

“Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape…While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way. We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better.” 

To some, the apology was sincere, but to others.....

“We never intended to make you or any of our #SheaFam members feel this way. We stand by the roots of our company and where we came from. We intend to make this up to each and every one of you. Our apologies to all that have felt they were minimized by this. Again, this was not our intention and we still stand strong with everyone in our community. We appreciate you.”

“We are a black-owned, family business with a diverse group of employees—a majority people of color, but also representing different cultures and ethnicities. We love and value every member of our SheaMoisture family. Each person has joined our team having expressed a commitment to redefining beauty standards for women who have historically been underserved in the beauty industry, regardless of their own race or ethnicity.”

Now, SheaMoisture has ALWAYS come clutch with the BOGO 50% off sales, and I have about 8 of their products, but after this publicity disaster, they might've lost me and a few other black customers. I love their Curl Smoothie, but I’d much, much rather see a woman with the same texture presented in a commercial. Showcasing a black women with 3a-3b curl pattern to represent an entire group of women was not an accurate representation of ALL  black women. To me, a struggle is growing up loving my natural coils because I didn’t have products to use or ways to style it, unlike my white counterparts in the video. I was happy to find something that worked in my hair, only to have this company shift to a new target market—women completely opposite of me. That’s not what’s poppin’!! Diversity is great, but exclusion is not! 

 

What are your thoughts on this ad or even my views in this article? I respect your opinions, comment below!