#AnothaOneBitezThaDust: Shea Moisture Under Fire For Alienating Black Women Customers in New Ad

Natural hair and beauty giant Shea Dehydration is under fire today for a video ad released last Thursday. The company's, who is Black owned and operated by Richelieu Dennis, advertisement showcased women discussing their struggles with their hair. Take a look below:

 While the video claims "everybody gets love", there is an absence of Shea Moisture's core base: Black women with kinky hair. For SM to originally be a brand aiding in helping Black women with their natural hair, the ad came off as shallow and a slap in the face. Especially after countless public complaints and concerns that the company was turning their backs on their loyal base. A few weeks ago, Sex therapist Raquel Savage even tweeted about her experience modeling at a hair expo where she noticed no Black models at Shea Moisture's booth. She even asked a rep about the company being "Black":

In the past few years, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the hair and skin care brand. In 2015, the company sold a stake to investment firm Bain Capital and also claimed that they were not focusing on an ethnic base anymore.

A year later, the "Break the Walls" campaign was released also causing tension and controversy with Black women customers.

Although the new video ad released Thursday, Twitter got a hold of it today and boy was it on fire. Some people have even suggested to company has allegedly changed its formula to suit non-Black hair better.

Even some White women have chimed in stating how illogical it is for the company to be pandering to them:
Anyone who knows me knows I've been a huge fan and supporter of Shea Moisture for years. I would tell everyone and their moms about their products because I loved them and because I'm about supporting BOBs. It's been my staple brand I've used on my hair and I also like their makeup line. I've also enjoyed the fact that their BOGO sales at Walgreens and CVS were always great.

While I and many others don't have an issue with the company expanding, this new advertisement and other stunts the company has pulled in the past is side-eye worthy. I mean, can we be honest for a second? There is an ongoing trend where some companies and even entertainers get on from the monetary support of Black women customers and fans just to turn around and alienate their core base once they go mainstream and get a seat at the table. Black women have every right to feel upset about this.

Of course the Black women hater brigade has crawled from their dungeons to not address the issue at hand, but to deflect and play reverse psychology tactics by suggesting Black women are "jealous" and "crabs in a barrel" for righteously being upset with the company. This type of rhetoric is a silencing tactic and it's foolish like Ashanti to pretend that Black owned businesses are not above criticism, especially when it's warranted. Most of these people who are coming at Black women's necks have never been supporters of SM and don't use lotion themselves.

The issue is not about being "discriminatory" against non-Black customers, it's about not cancelling out the core audience that put you on the map. Black owned companies like Beautie Bakerie and Coloured Raine do a wonderful job at being inclusive to women of all races without cancelling out Black women. Even Alikay Naturals has different lines for different hair textures from straight to kinky. Companies like Pantene, Covergirl, NYX, and Revlon were originally created for White women in mind, but have also created lines for non-White women of color. Ahem, Covergirl's "Queen Collection", anyone?

Photo: Style Blazer
Shea Moisture has released an apololie, but people in the comments are not having it.

Photo: Shea Moisture Facebook

Ex-customers have also went to their Facebook fan page to give 1 star reviews. They shaking the table. 

Chile, at this point Shea Moisture is going to have to have a Pan African flag with dashiki wearing naturalistas singing the Black national anthem in their next ad to make amends. I guess another one done bit the damn dust!

What are your thoughts on the Shea Moisture fiasco? Will you still support the company? Share below!

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  1. I am all for brands expanding that's what business strive for. But as a business owner myself it's never alright to forget where you came from and how you got started. It's the core and principal of who the brand is. If they kept that structure as they move into a broader audience it would be better accepted.

    1. Right on! They totally missed the mark. I mean the CEO has a slew of professionals on his team (I'm assuming) so how hard was it to keep your core audience AND expand to others? As an artist, I could name 5 ways to do this without alienating the core audience. It was terrible. Thanks for sharing, love.

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