Carol’s Daughter in Hot Seat for Fair-Skinned Ambassadors

The flames of the ongoing struggle for darker skinned individuals to be counted among what the world considers beautiful were fanned recently by one of our own, Carol’s Daughter. The perceptibly afrocentric beauty products company, partly owned by Mary J. Blige and Jada Pinkett Smith, recently introduced new ambassadors for the brand, and it has some up in arms.

Solange Knowles, Selita Ebanks and Cassie — all women of color — now represent Carol’s Daughter as the new faces of the New York-based company’s beauty products. So what’s all the hubbub about? They’re actually fair-skinned women of color.

The “sisters” are fuming.

“I think it’s [dark-skinned discrimination] exceptionally offensive because I’m a darker-skinned woman,” says an anonymous New Yorker about the issue. “We’re beautiful, but society says no, and we’re a mob society versus being individual thinkers. But I guess Carol’s Daughter is not just for black people, it’s for ethnic skin, so they aren’t necessarily stepping out of line.”

Since Carol’s Daughter has earned the reputation as the go-to-brand for black women that are proud of their black heritage, whether accurate or not, darker hued women are feeling slighted by the omission of that end of the spectrum in their new ambassadors. Are they wrong for feeling that way?

I, personally, feel that black is black, whether light or dark, and I’m all for black pride.  But it seems that on our mission to promote not just black, but dark pride, we’ve unfairly and unintentionally developed a resentment toward the less pigmented in our own community. I can certainly grasp the fact that damage has been done by the historic omission of darker sisters from film, videos, commercials, etc., but we have to pull up when we begin to take it out on our own. So, the beef is legitimate, but it should be leveled at the right people versus imposing the fight on fair-skinned people or a company like Carol’s Daughter whose mission is to represent people of color, period.

According to reports, a spokesperson for the company explained their logic in arriving at the “chosen ones” by saying the three women selected have three different textures of hair and skin types, which speaks to the versatility of the products they’re promoting. There was no intentional departure from dark skin, they simply chose who met their product-specific promotional needs.

According to, Steve Stoute, the chairman of Carol’s Daughter said, “They don’t see color anymore. They’ll say, ‘My father’s black, my mother’s white’ — they are all these ethnicities that make up these people, and what we decided to do was mirror what’s happening in America.”

Sounds credible to me.

It’s safe to say that we’ve moved pretty far beyond the house versus field negro days as far as privilege is concerned, and we’re more diverse in color now than we’ve ever been. So with that, we have to accept and even embrace the fact that dark chocolate won’t always be represented and not disown the milk chocolate that still do us proud. It’s all chocolate. Let Carol’s Daughter serve their “of color” customer base as they see fit.

What do you think about Carol’s Daughter’s new faces?

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