I guess the Latin meaning of the word “Nivea” should have been my first clue. It literally means “snow white”.
Surprised? Don’t be.
Thing is, Beiersdorf has a history of running racist ads.
Look at this ad. As a woman of colour I feel offence so deep I cannot. even.
- A black man sporting HIS NATURAL HAIR is not “civilized”.
- In order for a black man to be “civilized” he has to look like Chuck from Gossip Girl and THROW AWAY his black identity.
- In order to gain respect, aka “look like you give a damn”,a black man must FORCEFULLY REPUDIATE his blackness, his identity.
Move on 6 years from that ad, to this.
It would appear that apologies did not result in a new media campaign strategy for Beiersdorf. They persist in the need to hawk racial insensitivity.
- White is clean. Don’t sully it with other colours.
- White is pure. Therefore all other colours would be impure.
- Mixing colours with white “ruins” white.
Can you imagine how good redneck Al from Louisiana or Freek from Bronkhorstspruit must feel seeing this? A pictoral affirmation of his racist idealogies.
I grew up with Nivea. My mom slathered on the cold, white cream from the round, blue tin religiously every morning before school and every evening before bed.
Nivea is a part of my memories of childhood.
Today I am married, living in the middle of the desert and finding a good skincare cream is an impossible task. Thank heavens for Nivea, right?
Trouble is, a while ago I was chosen as a brand ambassador for Nivea ME. As part of this I get sent products to test and review. This was before the new racist ads were in the mainstream media spotlight.
I am being sent products from their new line as we speak.
See where I’m going with this?
I can do one of two things:
- Review the company and the product, separately.
- Refuse to review the products and resign as brand ambassador.
I chose door number 1. Why?
Because I think it’s important to interact with racists. We should educate them on their idealogies and the harm it continues to perpetrate. We should engage and not just denigrate and ridicule, no matter how tempting it may be.
“When they go low, we go high!” ~ Michelle LaVaughn Obama
While I will review Nivea I will also keep reminding them and consumers of their responsibility to beware of racial insensitivity.
That being said, I WILL NOT be purchasing any more Beiersdorf products. As much as I love their products, I cannot condone a COMPANY that sees me and mine as LESS THAN. Instead, I am choosing to “Buy Black“.
Racist ads will always be out there. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi, the old Sony Playstation ad….and so many more.
I feel ill while writing this, because I am a momma to a child of colour.
No matter how well educated, intelligent or beautiful she may be, to some people she will always be “less than” a white child.
This attitude is pervasive in coloured people of South Africa. A coloured child with straight hair and blue or green eyes is seen as superior to a darker skinned, curlier haired child.
Growing up as an only child in the ME she is shielded from this type of Stockholm Syndrome mentality enforced by the colonizers of Africa.
But one day she will return.
That’s why as an enlightened, educated coloured mother I discuss issues like racism in advertising with her. I open her eyes to the inherent racism in society, no matter where we live. I show her the history of our people, and the people of the world and how white people have since time immemorial felt the need to subjugate POC.
The question I cannot answer ( yet) is WHY?
Why do they do that, mommy?
Why do we let them?
I’m letting her draw her own conclusions. But she’s angry.
After all that, I feel like a product review of the Nivea stuff is nonsense, but as brand ambassador I am obligated.
So, here’s my product review of Nivea’s new line:
Nivea Skin Delight Oil in Care Shower
A lovely smelling, creamy textured wash with lots of foaminess. It’s non drying, non irritating creamy formula left my skin feeling smooth and fresh for at least 12 hours. My bathroom also smelled great for a long time! 24 hours later my skin still hadn’t reacted to a second use of the bodywash.
Nivea Skin Delight Oil in Body Milk
The lotion is a lovely thick emulsion that soaked into my thirsty skin. It disappeared without a trace yet left my skin feeling very moisturized. My only complaint is that the perfume is very heavy and I could smell it all day. Not so great when you’re a Chanel wearer. It also reminded me of my aunty Rosie and her rose water eau de toilet. Old fashioned and nice but not for me.
*This is a sponsored post. Nivea and their parent company, Beiersdorf, sent me the products to keep and review.
Until next I blog,