Two days ago, the company named Shea Moisture introduced a new ad on their Facebook page. Shea Moisture new ad
This ad features many women but most prominent are a biracial women and some Caucasian women. Now you may be saying what’s the big deal. Hair is hair.
Sadly, hair is not just hair. Hair especially on women and especially on Women of Color has so many issues upon issues about how not only to wear but also how it should be presented in order to appease others. When Shea Moisture first came out, it was marketing itself to Women of color especially with the hair grade of 4c.
4c representing hair that is the most coarse but also the most delicate. From making your curls look their best to making sure your scalp is well moisturized, their products spoke to most of what most African American women were needing in their hair care routines. It has been proven time and time again the buying power of black people and especially black Women. The dedication we have to a product or service can be outstanding when it treats us fairly.
This is why Shea Moisture’s new ad bothers so much. I have seen comments about there are bigger things in the world to worry about and this product isn’t just for black women. The problem is that this is the demographic that got them started and built this traction to which the company has now a minority stake in the business is now white. Shea Moisture basically told millions of Black women that ” you aren’t needed anymore. We are worth millions and while you helped with this current status, we really have to reach out to a larger audience.”
I understand capitalism well enough and I understand that businesses need to grow. The main issue here is when exactly are white women lacking for anything in the hair department?? You can walk into a CVS or a Riteaid and find rows of Tigi, Pantene and other brands that have catered to Caucasian hair for years. Black people have had to fight just have a corner or maybe a four foot section for hair care.
I also understand that their formalizations have changed so to appease a mass market. But once again, when are the masses truly lacking?
I honestly would not have had a problem with them if they started out with working on all hair types and making that a big part of their marketing. Building formulations for extra oily to extremely dry. They could have started making products for hair sprays , gels and moisturizers.
They knew they fucked up when the backlash from Facebook and most effectively Black Twitter went on them like a dog with a bone. Women saying they are done with the company. Asking friends for new hair care recommendations. Hell, even the companies you may not have readily heard of are taken advantage of Shea Moisture’s debacle. It is amazing how even in these modern times , ad companies especially are still ignorant to a company’s demographics and trying to help reach out to all people.
I am not sure what is going on with all these corporations these past few weeks i.e. United airlines , American Airlines, Pepsi and such but there had to be something in the water.
To quote Wesley Snipes aka Niño Brown from New Jack City “Money talks and bullshit runs the marathon”. These companies gonna learn today.