A few weeks ago SheaMoisture found themselves embroiled in some major online controversy. They released a short ad referencing “hair hate,” however the ad did not include women who have traditionally experienced the most hair hate in the world. Their ad, instead, featured a racially ambiguous woman with loose curls, and two white women. Watch the ad HERE.
While I don’t necessarily feel incited to boycott Sheamoisture (you can read why HERE), I understand why folks are mad.
That being said, I recently came upon a new video, released by Marie Claire magazine on behalf of L’oreal. Watch it for yourself here:
The model is gorgeous, and I’m inclined to believe that at some point she may have indeed disliked her hair. I’ve witnessed folks with some of the most enviable curls struggle to deal with the unpredictable nature of naturally curly stresses. So I get it. I do. The problem here is that both L’oreal and SheaMoisture used the expression “hair hate” to describe a personal dislike for one’s hair.
Hair hate, for the average black woman, is when you go to work or school and they tell you you will be punished for wearing your natural hair, or hair that reinforces one’s subsaharan african roots. For us, it’s really about how the outside world with their disdain for naturally kinky-textured hair treats those of us who just want to come as we are.
Ads like the one released by Marie Claire begs the question: who is this for? At least with the SheaMoisture ad we knew it wasn’t for us. This, God bless them, I think, was an attempt to appeal to Black women, and the average black woman ain’t trying to hear it.
See for yourself:
While I don’t this think this ad quite qualifies as Sheamoisturegate 2.0 (L’oreal isn’t black-owned so we tend to giggle at their foolishness rather than become angry,) I do hope they and other haircare brands rethink their use of the expression “hair hate.” I also think they need to work on being clear about whom they are targeting with their ads.
What say you? Sound off below!