Dove Model Lola Ogunyemi Speaks Up Following Controversial Racist Ad


When she first got the ad, she was overjoyed.

As we previously reported, soap giant Dove came under fire for posting an ad that depicted a Black woman peeling off her shirt to reveal that she's a white woman after using their soap.

In the full version, Ogunyemi is the first model and she proclaims her skin is "20 percent dry, 80 percent glowing" before appearing again at the end of the commercial.

Dove is facing social media backlash and calls for boycotts for releasing a video ad showing a black woman morphing into a white woman after using Dove's body wash which critics call "racist".

While Ogunyemi has taken a stand against the controversial ad, she revealed she had a positive experience working with Dove: "I had an unbelievable time on set. I am strong, I am handsome, and I will not be erased", she wrote.

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In hindsight, Lola thinks that Dove could have done more beyond simply apologising for the ad: by defending their creative vision and decision to feature a dark-skinned black woman in their campaign. She said that many people missed that later in the ad, the white woman then turned into another woman, who people have said is Asian.

When Dove asked Lola Ogunyemi to be in a new soap campaign, she viewed it as an opportunity to represent her "dark-skinned sisters" and "remind the world that we are here, we are lovely, and more importantly, we are valued", she wrote in a commentary for the Guardian. People congratulated her for "representing Black Girl Magic", she said. Ogunyemi touched on the full 30-second ad which included seven women which she said included, "different races and ages, each of us answering the same question: "If your skin were a wash label, what would it say?" We weren't sure how the final edit was going to look, nor which of us would actually be featured in it, but everyone seemed to be in great spirits during filming, including me". "If you Google "racist ad" right now, a picture of my face is the first result".

However, Ogunyemi insists that the images circulated on the web have been "misinterpreted".

"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", the Nigerian-Brit raised in Atlanta wrote. Saturday, the brand said it had "missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully". She added that she is also aware of previous advertisements that have sparked outrage from the public due to their offensive nature.

But that being said, Ogunyemi still believes in Dove's concept, and wishes that the company would have fought back against these racist claims, and also highlighted Ogunyemi's participation. The narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion, ' she wrote.