The ad for Nivea’s new Natural Fairness moisturizer, marketed to women living in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal, features 2005 Miss Nigeria and fashion entrepreneur, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, with its tagline as “For visibly fairer skin.”
While Nivea has responded to the backlash, Omowunmi, who is the lead model in the campaign has finally given her views of the situation.
Following the recent responses to the NIVEA Natural Fairness advertising campaign in which I am the lead model, I believe it is important to let you all know my views on this matter and I hope it will help you to see this advert from my perspective.
First, I must say that I was saddened by some of the negative backlash on social and some mainstream media and also the sometimes very harsh personal criticisms I received for my involvement in the advert. I have taken time to consider the criticisms and evaluate my role in the ad campaign.
While I sincerely apologize on my own behalf to any persons that may have been offended by how they perceived the content of and messaging in the advertisement,I want to assure you that I am personally not an advocate nor a promoter for skin bleaching or light skin as a beauty ideal.
If you have any doubts about this, listen to the first words in the video. It is all about maintaining our natural complexion following the effects of our unforgiving environment and weather and it is not about changing our complexion to a lighter shade
As a fashion and beauty enthusiast,I am fully aware that our skin is as diverse as it is beautiful; and I am all for products that are suited to every woman’s skin needs and makes her feel good in her skin.
The range of skin tones or complexions among us, black Africans, is very broad – from very dark and moderately fair in complexion, to much lighter tones and we are all beautiful.
Every skin type and tone deserves to be loved and cared for; and that is what I personally seek to promote and represent, which is why I was proud to be part of the Nivea advert.I felt good, beautiful and strong when I was featured in the campaign and I believe in the product, which is why the backlash was even more distressing to me personally.
As some of you know, I stand very much for the empowerment of the African woman and the celebration of all the choices we freely make to elevate our self-love and confidence.This fact has been demonstrated very much by the various initiatives and partnerships I have been involved in over the recent years.
I hope it helps you to appreciate who i really am. Proudly African! ~