Shea Moisture Tried It!!!!

In case you haven't heard, Shea Moisture, a beauty brand that has catered to the hair and skin needs of Black women, released a new commercial. Just as soon as the commercial was released, the public dragging commenced.



The reason for the major backlash was the fact that the new advertising featured a woman who appeared to be biracial (I could be wrong) and several White women.  Say What? Yes, Shea Moisture, who has made tons of money from black consumers created, approved, and released a commercial that didn't focus on it's core audience.  Granted, a woman with a lighter complexion was front and center... BUT what happened to all of the other beautiful shades of brown?  No caramel, chestnut, chocolate, cocoa, etc. 

Before I continue, check out the video that has all of the chocolate sisters up in arms.
Credit: Peculiar Royalty - Youtube

Objective Opinion

I see why Shea Moisture thought this was a good move to make as a brand. They want to expand their horizons and showcase the fact that their products cater to a diverse market. Let's be real, all brands exists with the intentional purpose of making a profit. All other reasons such as filling a niche, raising awareness, and community outreach is secondary.  These companies are first and foremost focused on their bottom line.  Shea Moisture found an opportunity to potentially make a larger profit. I do not fault them for this.

My problem is the fact that in this new advertising campaign, Shea Moisture appears to have completely abandoned their core base. 

 It's fine to add some diversity to the mix, but why couldn't they include both sides of the spectrum (dark to light) in the commercial? Is it because the new consumer that Shea Moisture is targeting would find a chocolate woman unappealing in the ad? Would the inclusion of Women of Color with a tighter curl pattern (4a, 4b, 4c) contradict the meaning behind this commercial? Inquiring minds want to know!  

I am really curious about how many people played a role in this decision.  How many eyes watched this video and never thought "Something is missing"?

Bigger Issue

Are we really surprised that Shea Moisture has taken this route? We have seen this happen many times before.  For years, companies have gotten their start by marketing to Black consumers and once those companies have achieved a certain level of success, they transition to a wider, more "ideal" audience.  We see this happen in the beauty, clothing, financial, and entertainment industries all the time.  
Source: Instagram

Shea Moisture's Response

The negative response was so major, that Shea Moisture felt the need to respond.  Here is a screenshot of their response on Facebook:


Is it too little, too late for Shea Moisture?  What are your thoughts on this controversy? Are people overreacting or is the anger justified?


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4 comments

  1. You hit the nail on the head. Shea Moisture really missed the mark with this one. I don't think I can continue to support a brand like this in the future.

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    1. Thanks for reading. I haven't bought Shea Moisture products since I first became natural... which was over 2 years ago. I definitely won't go back now

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  2. I agree that whoever did Shea Moisture's ad campaign was completely off- base. The exclusion of darker complected women of color was not only insulting, but undoubtedly hurtful. As a light-skinned black woman who appears racially ambiguous, I often see images of black beauty in the media unfairly slanted in the direction of women who look more like me, instead of beautiful dark skinned women. Colorism runs rampant! Nevertheless, I think this backlash could actually benefit Shea Moisture's relationship with its original consumer base. They failed at this ad, and heard us roar. I think this will teach them to be more mindful of the community that nurtured them and turned them into the corporation that they are today. Last but not least, they made a tragic mistake in the name of expansion..but do we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Or should we take a wait and see approach? After all, this is still a black-owned business. I can't count them out yet.

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    1. I think the owner learned a valuable lesson... The black dollar is important, especially to the health and beauty industry. I hope this mistake will show other brands how important it is to NOT exclude Women of Color from their marketing campaigns. I don't buy Shea Moisture products but I always recommend it to newly natural women because it's great for beginners.

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