Black Twitter gave Shea Moisture quite a dragging upon the reveal of their newest ad featuring three women, two of whom were White. The ad begins with a woman of color talking about embracing her curls and follows with a red headed White woman speaking on accepting her natural hair color.
“I just didn’t think I was supposed to be a red hair. I dyed my hair blonde for seven years. Platinum blonde.”
A peculiar tagline followed: “Break free from hair hate, with a million ways to love your hair instead.”
Twitter ignited with screenshots and side eye memes. Many users expressed outrage over what they percieved as an underrepresentation of their most faitful market base.
There are two issues at play here. The first is that the Shea Moisture brand has been largely supported by men and women of color. Under representing that base made many twitter users understandably upset. Where are the kinky coily textures in this commercial. Where are the curly afros?
Additionally, conflating white women’s hair issues to that of women of color minimizes our natural hair journeys — journeys that have socio-political implications that extend far beyond simply being teased or being dissatisfied with the way it looks.
Shea Moisture needs to do better by better representing their market base. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the needs of finer hair types, but in the context of a brand who was propelled to success as a result of the support of men and women of color, under-representation of that market base is a serious snub.