Beauty brands have been consistently going hard on the racism front lately, and it's truly reached an impasse where it feels flimsy to call it "gross" and "inappropriate." But here we are, again. This time around it's the skin care brand Nivea responding to backlash, and well, their apology (if you can call it that) was lackluster to say the least.
The racist ad that sparked backlash depicted a black woman applying a Natural Fairness skin lightening cream. To make matters (somehow) even more vile, the new Natural Fairness moisturizer has been primarily promoted in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal.
After facing well-deserved backlash, Nivea released an underwhelming statement on Wednesday where they essentially defended their racist advertising.
This is the apex of missing the point.
While they could have posted: "Hey, we messed up. You guys are right. We'll never perpetuate white supremacy through our beauty brand again."
They instead doubled down on their BS and ended their statement on this note:
"We respect every consumer's right to choose products according to their personal preferences and we are guided by that to responsibly provide them with safe and high-quality skin care products."
Sadly, this is fairly on-brand for Nivea, and doesn't mark the first time they've posted racist advertising.
Even still, Twitter had a lot of valid rage feelings about Nivea's advertising choices, and their weak excuse for an apology.
Basically, All Nivea said was "sorry/not sorry, we're gonna stay racist and shitty."
Despite the obvious pattern of racism, there were still some people on Twitter who defended Nivea.
To be fair, this man wasn't defending skin lightening as a practice. But rather, was pointing to the larger institutional bias that perpetuates the demand.
Ugh, well. Nivea has officially joined the ranks of Dove for racist ads.