Did Dove Miss the Mark, or Are We Petty?
By now, everyone has seen the strategically placed screen shots from the Dove commercial that has since been removed. It paints a clear picture... But is it an accurate one?
In the world of media, I know all too well how easy it is to edit something and not take it from something and make it into something else but take something and create THE PERCEPTION of something else. In my opinion, that is what happened with the Dove commercial. Check out the actual ad:
The screen shot we saw was of four different moments in a video placed in such a way that it appeared to say that washing with Dove "cleans a dirty black woman into becoming a clean white one." Somehow, the last woman was completely excluded. She was neither black nor white. This leads me to believe that the person who created the controversial photo didn't care about the full context of the video but chose to only focus on how the black woman was represented. It's almost as if there was a deliberate search for the opportunity to be offended; and in an already racially charged climate, it spread like wildfire.
Granted, the creative team behind the advertisement could have chosen to change the order of the women. Would white women have been offended if it started with the white one, who turns black, and the black woman went to Latina? Or would black women still have been offended because it went from black to anything other than? I'm almost certain that if it had started white, went another ethnicity, and ended black, someone would have argued that it is racist because it's like they're suggesting that nobody wants to come behind black people.
Frankly, I'm tired of fighting over petty stuff. Let's not take attention away from the struggles which truly matter. There are certainly bigger fish to fry!
If you want to boycott, boycott the businesses that don't even TRY to go after your patronage because they either know you're going to give it to them anyway or don't care about getting it. Boycott recording videos that show us in a negative light; and if you already don't record those types of videos, boycott sharing them! Boycott the portraying of our children as sexual beings and any program that would have them to do so for the sake "of a role." Boycott payday loan businesses that put people into cycles of debt and poverty. Boycott the images of black men as "hard" criminals who are above the law. These are the things that DIRECTLY affect the black community!
I'm TIRED of going to work day in and day out, balancing motherhood, home ownership, and school only to be seen by society as either a loud, foul woman or "bougie." I live a quiet, comfortable life which is centered around my family and my faith. I'm tired of society seeing GREAT men as threats because the images given to the masses show black men as gangsters, pimps, and crooks. If we're not going to boycott ALL of this, then boycotting a company based on an improper adaptation of a video is pointless. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the use of "hitting people in their pockets." I'll withdraw my support of ANY business that regards any part of its patronage as unnecessary, but I don't believe in adapting a work for the sake of creating offense.
*wipes Dove under arms and steps off soapbox*