Sep 5, 2014

#SCARYotypes of Black Women in the Beauty Industry (via @GarnierUSA)

At this point in my life I've gotten used to seeing the one, token brown face used in beauty advertisements. I guess that solitary brown face staring back at me on the boxes, magazine covers, and ads of my favorite products is supposed to make me as a black woman feel include. Part of the team. Not forgotten or viewed as an after thought.

Most people are familiar with the bright green, borderline obnoxious packaging of Garnier USA products. Packaging aside, I'm actually a fan of a handful of items.On a recent shopping excursion in Walgreens (i.e. I ran out of toilet paper and needed a new tooth brush), the one brown face in the latest Garnier USA ad campaign jumped out at me... but for all the wrong reasons.

As I looked at the images I saw headlines next to each face... then got to the black girl. "Urban Attitude" .... (insert deep pause) Urban attitude? Really? My eyes rolled into the back of my head and I felt a bit slighted. Like, must the black girl always represent urban attitude? We couldn't get the tagline of goddess, glamour, princess or siren? It "urban attitude" really the best the Garnier USA team could come up with? Better yet, how many people saw this copy and smiled... big, cheesy ass grins thinking 'we nailed this!'

This entire campaign wreaks of a non-black team of people throwing together the type of marketing they thought would appeal to black women. "Black women are so feisty and urban. They had attitude and I'm sure they'd love to see themselves represented on this product in this way." The entire thing is annoying as hell, but more so disappointing. A brand that I've supported for years has blatantly dropped the ball on representing me and those who look like me.

Garnier USA - - black women represent more than "urban attitude." Do better.
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