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Shea Moisture fans outraged over ad featuring White baby

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Fans of the burgeoning beauty line Shea Moisture are livid over the brand’s latest ad campaign. Best known for their line of moisture rich products including a Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Olive Oil & Green Tea Body Butter and Black Soap, in the past, the company has mainly targeted the Black community. In their new campaign, however, they campaigned to the mainstream market, featuring a White child under the tagline “Uh … we have a problem, we ran out of Shea Moisture.”

Current customers weren’t feeling the move.

“I dont get it, why shea moisture including white folk in the customer demographics now,” wrote another Twitter user.

“@SheaMoisture: We have a problem… ” you ain’t run out of Shea Moisture, you ran out of Black chirren,” posted another.

“I hate that shea moisture went mainstream . 95% of hair products are made for non black women . Can we have something of our own?” added yet another disgruntled fan.

Several years ago, this writer had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Shea Moisture, Richelieu Dennis, who was simply passionate about making quality products and honoring the brains behind the legacy, his grandmother, Sofi Tucker. Shea Moisture was established in 1912 and has won several beauty awards from several magazines, including Allure, Natural Health, Prevention, Parents, Esquire, Life & Style, Essence, Ebony and more.

What do you think of Shea Moisture’s new ad campaign featuring a White child?



11 Comments

  1. Jason on February 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    A Black Code (if there was one) would dictate not supporting those who don’t value and respect those who put the money in their pockets. When will Black people stop behaving like whores? You know whores – go out and do what they are told in order to make money – once they get the money, they often go back to someone who takes the money and then beats the h#ll out of them and tells them to start the cycle all over again.

    • Likewaterforchoc on February 26, 2015 at 9:04 am

      I don’t think that women who have supported Shea Moisture have behaved like whores, because up until today we have not seen them pull a move like this. I am a natural-haired black woman who has been supporting their products for years due to the fact that they have natural ingredients that work for my fro and they don’t try to kill you with the pricing. However, at this point I may have purchased my last Shea Moisture product in January 2015. No mas! Have they learned nothing from Carol’s Daughter? Black natural haired women have made these brands rich thus far and it seems when they reach a certain level of success they want to try “something new” and that includes courting the “mainstream”. Knowing full well that haircare products designed for white hair could care less about our patronage. So, I guess it’s back to being a “kitchen technician” mixing like Spinderella for me.

      • Jason on February 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

        My “whores” comment was not directed at the women who support Shea Moisture but at the Black Community in a larger context. Basically, I am saying Blacks needs to STOP supporting those people and businesses show a disdain and lack of respect for us. My apologies for not making my point clear.

  2. greensthings on February 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I am white, I have extremely curly hair. I’ve use products aimed at black women. I never knew how to take care of my curls until I was in the army and my black roommate showed me products that would work on my hair! She also introduced me to a heated, brass comb to straighten my hair and products to leave it soft and bouncy. Guess what, they are all products for “black” hair.
    I do not understand the hate….

    • Jason on February 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Everything is not meant for you to understand.

    • june on February 25, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      “Heated, brass comb” is usually simply referred to as a “hot comb” (even when its not actually “hot”). There is no, so to speak “hate”, on most popular american products, they MIGHT put 1 black person in an ad but its overshadowed by the rest of the cast who is, well white. As if to “not scare” the viewers about the quality of the product or to “not confuse” the audience as to thinking a product only for blacks. Its almost like having a white person advertise gives product quality assurance. We cant be mad at colgate, for example, for this certain marketing plan, i mean not totally. When we have our own products, in which this hair product is, we can market them where a black person is the universal symbol of how well the product is. White imagery has been used as a standard universal image for how blacks, with largely different types of hair, skin, features,etc., should look and what we should buy. This is true for any non-white race in the place that should be a “melting pot”, america. We just want our culture to be represented undeterioratingly, proudly, uncowardly so. And that is fair. Hispanics, asians, middle easterners/indians, should have the same ideal positively done too. White people have BEEEEENNNN doing this, for centuries.

  3. Ethel Arauz on February 26, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Ridiculous…I’m Hispanic and my daughter has been using Shea Moisture since she was an infant. Nothing works better than this line on her hair and skin. I even use the leave in hair moisturizer on my hair when I don’t have time to blowout my hair.
    So…I’m not allowed to enjoy this line? It’s hands off because I’m white Hispanic? My kid can’t use it because she’s not a black child? That’s pretty much what the ironic haters of this ad are saying.
    I buy the eczema soap bar for my daughter. Guess what? I’ve recommended it to white and black friends. My white friend’s baby responded wonderfully to it. Should her child now feel as if there’s something wrong with using Shea Moisture?
    It’s ironic that a group of people who whine about not being included in other brands is now complaining that a line they actually use is now being inclusive. Rather hypocritical and disgusting. These people who are complaining should be proud of this marketing; as a way of showing that “minorities” are doing it right, we minorities are leading the way in embracing an inclusive society.
    I will ignore the segregationist and continue to spend my money on Shea Moisture because they have great products FOR ALL. I have contacted them in the past and they have been great and love to hear that different demographics have made their brand a must have.

    • Likewaterforchoc on February 27, 2015 at 8:49 am

      You’ve missed the point completely. No one said for a second that it was hands-off for any other ethnicities or races. Black women want to know that after bolstering sales for years why black folks are no longer good enough to advertise to? That is what is truly disgusting that black women are cast aside once a certain level of success is attained. The story of our lives along with the idea that black people in general need to be overly accommodating to those who do not do the same for us. There are plenty of black women who use L’Oreal and other “mainstream” hair products but we are never really represented in their advertising (unless it is an offshoot line directed at black women) but we purchase them any way although they don’t really care to market towards us. These major brands simply do not market towards us. Their idea of diversifying marketing efforts is hiring Sofia Vergara or either of the Eva’s because they have hair that THEY understand. Hispanic and white dollars have not made the Shea Moisture brand successful and if you believe differently you are lying to yourself. Up until now the brand ambassadors (YT’ers who have done product reviews and sponsored videos which helped boost sales in the black community). We are NOT represented on mainstream brands so why can we NOT be represented on a brand that black women have supported to make successful thus far. A blond-haired white child. Please!

    • Jason on February 27, 2015 at 9:50 am

      No other group accepts this “identity camoflauge”, so why should Black people. Whenever I watch your Hispanic channel – I don’t see commercials with a bunch of White/Black folks. I wonder why? Is it because you all are not “inclusive”? Your “whining” comment is also very disrespectful. Blacks don’t want inclusion – they want respect from the companies they spend too much $$$ with who consistently show disdain for them.

      Hearing about Blacks whining from a Hispanic is interesting….

      • Likewaterforchoc on February 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        Kudos. Oh! You gone learn today about how some of these Hispanics feel about “us”.1000 upvotes wayyyyyup! I’ve heard them say some of the craziest things where it concerns black folks, so don’t put too much stock in that whole “us minorities” mess.

  4. Emma on July 23, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I’ll start by saying I’m a white female with curly hair and I use this product. I very much understand this being upsetting. I know that popular, well-known products are often advertised with white models because of our society framing the average life around and for white people and expecting everyone else to just deal. I get that frustration completely. However, I don’t think this products advertisement with a white child is a well-reasoned argument to stop buying from them. It could be that they are just trying to broaden their customer base. It does wonders for black people from all I’ve heard about it. Before i bought tbjs product, I looked at it for months, loving the natural ingredients and loving the smell and all the good reviews, but I never bought it because it was specifically targeted for black people hair and I wasn’t sure how it’d affect my hair. Finally, I borrowed some of my friend’s and she told me that it’s idiotic to not buy it for myself because it wasn’t advertised for my skin color. So, like I said, its a fucked up world where black people have to deal with that same experience I did on multiple occasions every single day. But shouldn’t we all be working at not excluding others because of their skin color? And I know, I’m white, I will never even begin to fathom the differences between my every day life and a black person’s. But I do know that historically, there’s never any progress in overcoming an inequality when we fight fire with fire. It’s fair to point out the flaw in this advertisement and criticize it for this image its creating where it falls into the habit of every other part of our society and favors white people. But it shouldn’t completely boycotted. And honestly, if the product is magical and does wonders for you andn no other product can compare, don’t punish your hair.