Bergdorf Calls Out Racist Nivea Ad For Glorifying Skin Whitening Cream

Munroe Bergdorf

After being fired from L'Oréal Paris' campaign for saying "all white people" are racist, transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf has become the most vocal critic of the beauty industry. She recently called out Dove's racist advertisement, highlighting the brand's long history of ignorant marketing, and now she's slammed Nivea for glorifying skin lightening in a new commercial. 

"I need a product that I can really trust to restore my skin's natural fairness," says the subject in Nivea's African advertisement, which is being broadcast in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal. The TV spot is promoting the beauty brand's "Natural Fairness" moisturizer, and promises the product will "visibly lighten" your skin. 

Bergdorf criticized Nivea's racist commercial on Instagram: "Perpetuating the notion that fairer skin is more beautiful, more youthful is so damaging and plays into the racist narrative so prevalent in the beauty industry, that whiteness or light skin is the standard that we should all strive for," she said, reminding advertisers that they have the power to change this norm. 

She continued, condemning whitening and lightening creams, saying they're not only physically damaging, but also ethically wrong. "Empowerment is not too much to ask for. All black skin is beautiful, no exceptions, so celebrate us as we are instead of asking us to adhere to unattainable and racist ideals." 

 

This is not okay. #Nivea - Perpetuating the notion that fairer skin is more beautiful, more youthful is so damaging and plays into the racist narrative so prevalent in the beauty industry, that whiteness or light skin is the standard that we should all strive for. Advertisers have the power to change this narrative, but campaign after campaign we see it being used worldwide. Making money out of making people hate themselves is never acceptable. Whitening and lightening creams are not only physically damaging, but also ethically wrong. Empowerment is not too much to ask for. ALL black skin is beautiful, no exceptions, so celebrate us as we are instead of asking us to adhere to unattainable and racist ideals.

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