Dove Visible Care Body Wash Ad Sparks A Race Debate

October 5, 2015

One can’t be for certain when promoting dry skin products became a racial issue, but Dove is under fire for making quite a few people feel that way with its latest “Visible Care” body wash ad.

The ad features three women; one African American, one Latino, and one White. The issue is with the order in which they stand. The African American woman appears directly in front of the “before” picture of dry skin, and the ad concludes with the White woman appearing as the end result, with more moisturized skin, by standing in front of the “after” photo. Some are going as far to say the ad implies if you use the product you will go from black to white.

The argument of the ad being racist seems pretty ridiculous considering all races have dry skin, no matter what order they stand. It’s also a known fact that African American’s having dry skin is a common issue. It would only make marketing sense to spotlight darker skin tones to sell a product that is alleged to help solve dry skin problems. Whether or not that was the intention is questionable.

In response to the criticism, Dove responded to Gawker by saying:

“We believe that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and ages and are committed to featuring realistic and attainable images of beauty in all our advertising. We are also dedicated to educating and encouraging all women and girls to build a positive relationship with beauty, to help raise self-esteem and to enable them to realize their full potential.The ad is intended to illustrate the benefits of using Dove VisibleCare Body Wash, by making skin visibly more beautiful in just one week. All three women are intended to demonstrate the “after” product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.”

So, is the ad racist? It’s your call.