It’s not uncommon for a large brand to take steps towards expanding its target audience. But when it comes to natural hair care lines that cater to black women, that could prove to be a big no no. Shea Moisture proved that this week after releasing a few commercials with the message “Break free of hair hate,” featuring two white women sporting straight hair.
The company has become more than a stand out in the natural hair care world. It’s a fan favorite with a cult following that many companies strive to cultivate. Let’s just say they aren’t having the best week.
Waiting for Shea Moisture to drop a video of a white girl using their black castor oil edge treatment
— victoria sanusi ?? (@victoriasanusi) April 24, 2017
— Rita Anderson (@EmpressRita) April 25, 2017
— Neela (@foxyneela) April 24, 2017
To add insult to injury, the company retweeted and thanked Tariq Nasheed for this tweet before issuing an apology:
So yall don’t want 2 boycott businesses like:
*Asian nail shops that beat up BW
*Companies that support Trump
But Shea Moisture is the issue
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) April 24, 2017
Sigh…of all people to retweet.
When the company finally realized just how deep of a shit hole it had stepped into, this apology was issued:
Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape. So, the feedback we are seeing here brings to light a very important point. While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way. We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better. Thank you all, as always, for the honest and candid feedback. We hear you. We’re listening. We appreciate you. We count on you. And we’re always here for you. Thank you, #SheaFam, for being there for us, even when we make mistakes. Here’s to growing and building together…