The model from the controversial new Dove ad just spoke up about her experience

October 11, 2017

While so many of their ads have been total hits, Dove released a controversial and upsetting ad the other day that had people talking. And while they released an apology and took down the content, they started up a conversation about how advertising should always make sure to properly represent women of color.

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While so many of their ads have been total hits, Dove released a controversial and upsetting ad the other day that had people talking. And while they released an apology and took down the content, they started up a conversation about how advertising should always make sure to properly represent women of color.

The model who was part of the shoot, Lola Ogunyemi, recently made sure her opinions on the ad were heard. In a wonderful essay penned for The Guardian, Ogunyemi expressed how it felt to gain the opportunity, and how things crumbled when the internet saw the ad through Facebook.

Ogunyemi started out the essay by telling her readers a bit about herself.

“I am a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta,” she said. “I’ve grown up very aware of society’s opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter.”

So I’m scrolling through Facebook and this is the #dove ad that comes up…. ok so what am I looking at….Goodmorning…

Posted by Naythemua on Friday, October 6, 2017

Ogunyemi said that when she was offered the “opportunity to represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand,” she said yes right away. Not only was it the perfect opportunity to remind women of color that they’re beautiful, but it was important for the model to let them know how much they’ve valued.

Unfortunately, things took a turn when the model woke up to outrage.

“If you Google ‘racist ad’ right now, a picture of my face is the first result,” she wrote. “I had been excited to be a part of the commercial and promote the strength and beauty of my race, so for it to be met with widespread outrage was upsetting.”

Ogunyemi said that if she knew how the images would have been perceived after they were shot, she never would have accepted the opportunity. But she made sure to state that her time spent with Dove was nothing but positive.

“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,” she said. “There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage. Having said that, I can also see that a lot has been left out.”

We love the fact that Ogunyemi told the story from her perspective. Her reasons for shooting the ad were admirable, and we hope the backlash doesn’t prevent her from wanting to appear in future advertisements.

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