So, as many of you may have seen or heard, Shea Moisture really messed up this time. Many have asked would I speak on the Shea Moisture advertisement controversy, or what my thoughts on it are, as you’ve seen that I am a heavy Shea Moisture user and supporter. Well….yes of course, like any other woman of color who uses their products on a regular basis, I did have the opportunity to watch the advertisement that was sent out a couple days ago before it was taken down by the hair product company after a lot of backlash came from it. If you did not get a chance to watch it, we have it below for you. Take some time to view it, and then continue reading below:
Now, before you begin screaming at the screen, if this is your first time viewing the commercial, lets just get the elephant out of the room and say automatically this was wrong. It was not so much wrong because the women that were apart of it weren’t not fully African American, but it was completely wrong that this company has portrayed itself as one that caters to kinky, or naturally curly hair, only to have mainly women with straight hair as a main focus now. Of course, we have all seen companies begin their diversifying techniques once they begin to gain some momentum among their customers or consumers, that happens. That is business at the end of the day. But Shea Moisture went about it the wrong way by quietly misleading us all. Don’t get me wrong there are MANY companies that cater to both straight and naturally curly textures in their products, but the main difference between those companies and this particular one, is the fact that they let us all know upfront without changing their formulas with no notice to consumers. As you all know and can see for yourself, I am a heavy supporter of Shea Moisture, simply because of what I was told and read about these products is what I was led to believe was the truth. Now I’m not so sure what is the truth and what is just talk.
Lets take another look at a second perspective when it comes to the timing of this advertisement. My first encounter with Shea Moisture was at least two-three years ago, while former President Barrack Obama was in office. This was during a time period where an overload of African American women were ditching their relaxers for the natural hair look, and of course many hair companies were following suit and providing hair products for those who wanted to appreciate their own pure form of hair. Back then, you would see advertisements for Shea Moisture with nothing but African American women apart of them. Whether it be on their website, or on a commercial on television, everyone knew this particular company to be one that solely catered to African American women and men. It even states on the products that their products were made by African Americans, as well as the company being black owned. As everyone knows, African American hair is completely different from a Caucasian person’s hair type and texture. Now lets jump to right now in today’s time, and you see the advertisement shown above where you don’t even see a hint of dark skin period. This automatically made me feel like just a fad and trend for the company as whole. It made me feel like, “ok so since the Obamas are out of office now, does that mean that black hair is out as well?”
As mentioned before, the straight hair apart of the commercial completely blew me. Originally, being natural was a need for me. Then it turned into something fun for me. Now it is more of a political stand for me personally. Growing up, I was always told that it was a need for me to straighten my hair completely, or I would never get that dream job that I always wanted with great pay and great benefits. I was told that I must make myself look closer towards that of a Caucasian woman in order to be taken serious in this world. Me being naturally is a way for me to show that I do not need to do those things in order to be great in life. If a Caucasian woman can walk around and obtain a great job with just her naturally straight hair, why can’t I do the same with my naturally curly hair? With Shea Moisture placing women with chemically straightened hair in the ads for a company portraying themselves as catering to women with kinky and curly hair textures, it makes me think that they are now attempting to persuade all African American women to go back to straightening their hair. It is like they are saying, “well Obama is gone now, so you can straighten your hair again now, you don’t have to do this anymore”.
Some would argue that this was a way for the company to be more diverse, but you can’t pull the diversity card with no minorities included except for the first woman that was shown in the advertisement. You can’t say that this is bringing more diversity when you’re pulling minority women from the spotlight, only to place the majority back into the spotlight. In my opinion, it seems to me this advertisement has taken the company back in time, instead of progressing forward with their loyal customers and consumers.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this story, please leave them in our comments section below! I would love to read some feedback on what you think about this issue. Please be reminded that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and to please respect them for it. Thanks so much for reading everyone!