'It's an attack on Africa' -Another skincare brand under fire for ‘racism’
Just under two weeks after beauty brand Dove sparked outrage on social media for depicting a black woman morphing into a white woman, Nivea has also come under fire for an advert for it Natural Fairness lotions, which social media users have labelled as racist.
The advert, which appeared in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal, featured Former Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi applying the lotion to her skin, which instantly turns lighter, while claiming that it made her feel younger.
Social media users claimed the brand was trying to exploit Africans and push the idea that being light made you more beautiful.
The full Dove ad was fine IMO. But this Nivea foolishness? I’m not buying anymore of their lotion 😒✌🏾— You (@idenarecaya) October 20, 2017
Others defended the advert, insisting that there was a market for the product in Africa because of the popularity of skin lightening cosmetics.
All Nivea is doing as a business is tap into a market opportunity which was created by Black Women not Nivea.— I_Am_Ready✊✊✊ (@PMahumapelo) October 20, 2017
More and more 'black' women desire to be yellow and Nivea is just meeting a market demand.— BHUNGANe I (@mduba_sipeto) October 19, 2017
Cancelling Nivea won't change the fact that there are people actively seeking bleaching products.— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) October 18, 2017
That's what is really concerning.
Nivea responded to the outcry, explaining that it had not intended to cause offence with the advert.
"We have recently noted concerns on social media by some consumers regarding our Nivea Natural Fairness body lotion communication in Ghana. We would like to emphasis that this campaign is in no way meant to demean or glorify any person’s needs or preferences in skin care," a statement from the brand on Facebook read.
Dove received similar backlash earlier this month when it released a series of images on social media depicting a black woman pulling a shirt over her head and morphing into a white woman. A full video of the advert was later circulated online, showing the woman morphing again into an Indian woman.
Dove later apologised and admitted that the campaign had "missed the mark".