Shea Moisture, a famous hair and skin product line, originated in 1912. Sofi Tucker sold Shea nuts at a village near Bonthe, Sierra Leone. After short success, she began selling Shea butter, African black soap, and other homemade skin and hair products across the country. The company kickstarted in 1991 in Harlem by Sofi Tucker’s grandson Richelieu Dennis, who is the CEO of the company.
If you haven’t found out yet, Shea Moisture just released a new commercial ad promoting their products and its glorified use for “everyone.” Their problem: It didn’t include enough women of color.
Check out the video below.
So, in this commercial ad about loving and embracing your natural hair, one would expect to see testimonials from women of color.
Shea Moisture’s primary consumers are women of color, mainly because they have found a product that works well with their hair and allows them to be more confident. Black women tend to be ridiculed the most for their natural hair and usually hide it–Shea Moisture has allowed them to not have any shame.
It is understandable that as a company you grow and expand though your audience, however, many believe that they should not forget where they came from.
Many black women expressed their anger on social media. One Facebook user stated, ““I just want to let you all know that you have essentially lost the segment of the market that put you on top. Not another dime will I give to this company. Black women are sharing this video in natural hair groups and we are not happy.”
After receiving backlash for hours, Shea Moisture released an apology and announced that it will be removing the ad.
In an interview with CNNMoney, Dennis stated that women of color remain to be their first interest.
So, will women of color remain supporters after this incident? I guess we will have to stay tuned.
Women of color, as a whole, are main victims of criticism in society. The journey of self-love is not always an easy one for them. In such instances like this, which some people might think it not a big deal, it is to them and should be for all. Everyone should strive for self-love and not hinder or knock down another’s journey.