People had condemned the ad, saying it was racist, and some declared a boycotting of the beauty brand.
Much of the backlash remained even after the full version of the ad surfaced, showing the white woman further changing to an Asian woman, in the fashion of Michael Jackson‘s popular video for his song “Black or White.”
However, Lola Ogunyemi, the black girl in the ad, has penned an opinion piece for Guardian, saying she had no idea her role would be the one of a “poster child for racist advertising.”
“If I had even the slightest inclination that I would be portrayed as inferior,” she wrote, “or as the ‘before’ in a before and after shot, I would have been the first to say an emphatic ‘no.’”
The snapshots circulating on the web have been misinterpreted, she said, which she understands as Dove had been criticized for the same issue once before.
Lola, who describes herself as a Nigerian woman born in London and raised in Atlanta, wrote:
Having said that, I can also see that a lot has been left out. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion.
She added that while she agrees with Dove’s response to apologize, she feels they could have defended their creative vision, which was communicated with the full TV ad, featuring 7 women in all.
Read the full opinion piece HERE.