Reported by Lyonel Laverde-Hansen
Emerging beauty product company Shea Moisture has decided to showcase a white child in its new advertising campaign. This move seems inexplicable given its history, being originally started by an African woman in 1912 and generally using African-grown ingredients in its products.
The new campaign appears to be appealing to a mainstream market, starring a blonde-haired, light-eyed girl holding up an old-fashioned phone and expressing a look of genuine concern as she seems to be talking into it. It uses the tagline, “Uh … we have a problem, we ran out of Shea Moisture.” Other photos in its campaign also feature Caucasian children.
Long-term fans of the product took to Twitter to complain.
“Shea Moisture knows they could’ve found a lil brown baby with curly hair for that tweet,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another fan posted, “I dont get it, why shea moisture including white folk in the customer demographics now.”
“I hate that shea moisture went mainstream. 95% of hair products are made for non black women. [sic] Can we have something of our own?” questioned another concerned user.
Shea Moisture specializes in a range of moisture-rich products consisting of natural and organic ingredients. Many of these products cater specifically to the hair and skin needs of African-Americans. With product names such as Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Olive Oil & Green Tea Body Butter and Black Soap, Shea Moisture had been cultivating a reputation, not only specifically for Black women, but for a general upscale market.
In its current form, under the founder’s grandson, Richelieu Dennis, it has won numerous beauty awards from such prestigious magazines such as Allure, Natural Health, Prevention, Parents, Esquire, Life & Style, Essence, Ebony and others.
Given the backlash from several users, it will be interesting to see how Shea Moisture responds in future ad campaigns.