Nigerian Model in 'Racist' Dove Ad Defends Campaign

Dove is facing a boycott of its products

Dove is facing a boycott of its products

The ad sparked backlash on social media last week, with many noting the historical use of racist images in soap advertisements.

A Nigerian born in London and raised in the southern USA city of Atlanta, Ogunyemi said she jumped at the chance to take part.

In the full version, Ogunyemi is the first model and she proclaims her skin is "20 percent dry, 80 percent glowing" before appearing again at the end of the commercial.

She was shocked to wake up one recent morning to find she had become the "unwitting poster child for racist advertising".

Dove commercial model Lola Ogunyemi is breaking her silence over the controversial ad released by the brand earlier this month. "I remember all of us being excited at the idea of wearing nude T-shirts and turning into one another".

Ogunyemi added that having this opportunity given by this internationally-acclaimed brand "felt like the ideal moment for" her "to remind the world" that her race is lovely and "valued".

While she agreed with Dove's unequivocal apology, she said it could also have defended its creative vision and its choice to include her as the face of the campaign.

She explained: "If I had even 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".

"So I'm scrolling through Facebook and this is the * a class="_58cn omniture-processed" href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/dove?source=feed_text&story_id=1662304190486605" data-ft="{"tn":"*N","type":104}" *#dove ad that comes up. ok so what am I looking at", she wrote on Friday.

I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue.

"An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully", Dove tweeted on Saturday.

Lola said: "I was happy with it when I saw the ad itself as I turn into a white model and then the white model turns into an Asian model and I thought it was fantastic". The piece is fair, balanced, and shows a deep level of understanding of emotions, why this narrative went the direction it did, and what we can learn from it all.

In her commentary, she wrote that she supported Dove's decision to "unequivocally" apologize for the ad. She added that she is also aware of previous advertisements that have sparked outrage from the public due to their offensive nature.

"We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience".

But that being said, Ogunyemi still believes in Dove's concept, and wishes that the company would have fought back against these racist claims, and also highlighted Ogunyemi's participation.

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