11 thoughts on “Sooo, About That Shea Moisture Ad and the Backlash (My Thoughts)

  1. Tajbia says:

    Wow! That was on point. Subscribed to your blog cuz I don’t do youtube or facebook you asked about our thoughts so here is my two cents.
    We as a people must realise who we are. We are originators. The majority oh the things we do are copied and monetized for the benefit of individuals from other ethnic backgrounds. We are told we have to share, but many are waking up from the attitudes that the ‘60’s programmed us with. As black people remember the days of “Black Wall Street”,”Greenwood ,OK” and other prosperous communities of the day— This is much to the chagrin of “the man.” Because it is proof that Black people “can” create successful, prosperous businesses catering to their own demographic.
    Which is why the explanation SM is using for leaving out its’ core demographic is trifling and inexcusable. Why? Because there are Black People World wide. In this day and age, they could have expanded their market to cater to Black and people of colour in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia– the continent of Africa alone, with the right marketing campaign strategy, would have brought more money into their coffers. Then there’s Brasil, Columbia, Chile and other South American countries. For the heck of it, lets add Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and other Central American countries and Mexico for the cherry on top. All of these places have an african diaspora as well as others who could benefit from their products. These areas are known to spend on beauty products as well. And not everybody in these countries is broke, so I can’t buy their excuse. As the “inclusion” they speak of, could have been done, bringing them the money they crave without selling out the people that put them where they are in the first place.
    Then, they take money from Bain capital these people are large investors of the prison industrial complex, which fund the building/operation of prisons– where a large amount of the black male population are incarcerated. You can’t take money from people who don’t support your values. At that level, and given that they are working in Africa, there are many wealthy Africans, Blacks and other people of colour in the countries I mentioned, who may have been willing to form a consortium of investors to provide a cash infusion to this company. The difference is that those making the money from this infusion would be more connected to the diaspora . Money is energy, it’s not evil. There’s nothing wrong with making it. But there is something wrong with not caring who you get it from.
    So again, they fail.
    The “damage control” story, is worded in a way that further insults those who have supported this company from its’ inception. They did not make a mistake. This is what happens when one loses sight of those that put them where they are and instead of working to be better and show appreciation, which in itself grows a company—this CEO seems to have left his company to the investors, while he entertained is dreams of having made it because he was now accepted by the White Man. Allowing key positions in his company to be usurped by his new found acquirers—who’s only interest is turning a profit. Mr. Dennis did not leave gatekeepers at the door—’cause “big momma” would have never let this crap fly. I was raised by old school people. I remember my great-great grandmother , (who was over 100 years old when she transitioned) tell us, “it’s not enough to be as good as them—you have to be better, because you are better than them.” That is what Mr. Dennis fails to realise. He didn’t have to be inclusive. If white people wanted his product, they would find him—if the product was good. Heck, white people already use it. They went looking for SM –so really, SM didn’t need to play up to that market.
    I believe Bain capital was the sinister infusion of something even bigger. The natural hair movement has cost white mainstream companies who would make money off relaxers—Millions of dollars. These companies sat on the sidelines and watched SM gather a large market share. They bought in and then, changed the formulation. The same thing they did to Carols Daughter. None of this is an accident. It’s a way to take out and acquire the competition and replace those dollars they are losing from the drop in relaxers. If some women get fed up enough, they may return to using the “creamy crack.” So, the conglomerates still win. It seems Dennis couldn’t think further than the money he was gaining. Bain purchased just enough to play off the “Black Owned” moniker—thinking the people who made SM what it is, would never look deeper. It’s obvious Dennis drank that purple kool aide too. You can’t hire black people for upper level positions? But you support the community?! Translated: We will throw you money, but we won’t put people in positions that matter so they can earn money that will help them help their communities, start their own businesses or help others do so. Basically, we will give you hand-outs but, not the chance to become independent. I call B.S.
    For people comparing the issue to Pepsi—you can’t. Why? Because Black People didn’t build Pepsi! Do they add to Pepsi’s market share? Yes. The recent commercial was bad—Do they need to answer for it? Yes. But it doesn’t compare to a company ignoring its’ core demographic, while spouting the slogan “Everybody Gets Love.” They can’t be that stupid. As for the weave wearing, one need go no further than the “Hair Hate” commercial which left out issues that Black women face and added to this mess— Some Black women are forced to take this outlet when working in the mainstream, as wearing their natural hair would not be accepted in some workplaces. Others use it while transitioning or to limit the manipulation of their hair while it grows. Those throwing shade would be surprised how some women sporting weaves, have hair past their shoulders and longer. So, those people using the weave aspect to diss Black women, think about that.
    Their product has changed and there are more changes in the works according to the model who tweeted about her experience as she modeled at a hair show. There’s nothing wrong with putting out new products. But there is something to be said about the way it was done. He could have expanded without selling out. He actually missed a prime opportunity because by focusing on and catering to your base, that is an opportunity to develop premium products that others in the hair care genre can’t come close to. They could have used that directed focus remain innovators and creators. There is nothing wrong about catering to a niche. Black women and other woc love their crowns. Not to say that white women don’t. But as the originators, I feel our “coils” are connected to something higher, something deeper—our antennae connecting us with Our Creator. As more and more women and men embrace who we really are and what we mean to the world, we should never let anyone guilt us into saying we need to include this group or that group. Dr. Claud Anderson, (see powernomics.com) has preached this for the longest.
    This isn’t just about a hair commercial, or even kicking ones’ base demographic to the curb. It’s about building legacies in the Black communities. Its about digging in when we are approached to sell out. We don’t need the white man, we as a people have walked through enough fires of slander, doubt, hatred and disrespect and emerged to become tempered instruments of change. We have the power to change the dynamic, to create wealth within our communities—to teach our children the truth behind our heritage. To no longer allow ourselves to be silenced. Black people are one of the most inclusive people out there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have something that’s just for us.
    Thanks for letting me have my say this is a long rant, but if you got through it, I hope you see some valid points. The link to the employees comment only shows this isn’t an isolated problem. Thanks for being fearless (I am waaay too shy to do videos) You have great content look forward to your future vlogs. BTW you and your hair are gorgeous

      • Tajbia says:

        Merci, Simone! It was pretty long– I am glad you got something out of it! Us Dr, Anderson fans have to stick together and get the word out! Take care Sis!

  2. Simone says:

    Hi Elle,
    Love your hair color it’s unique.
    Yeah about that Shea moisture, I think they used black women as a marketing tool to create a name for themselves and now they are going after a bigger market share. I can’t say I’m surprised because I’ve had my suspicions about this company for awhile and I question their authenticity to really understand OUR hair to begin with. Bottom line for me, not a fan of the products I have tried using several in the line. Either you make a quality product or you don’t. Deuces… kick rocks SM…we don’t need you. Personally, I’ve finally found a few lines that work for me and I’m experimenting with making a few of my own styling products SO YEA IM GOOD on SM. Thanks Elle love your blog and feedback. 💜

  3. barose says:

    I never saw the ad(s), is it on Youtube or regular network television? Based on what you said and what you described, I agree with you. I am all for inclusion and I remember when Carol’s Daughter original owner, Lisa, caught flack years ago when I started including (naturally) straight haired women in her ads. If we want us to succeed in business, we need to reach out. She didn’t get where he is by only selling to natural haired Black women. If other mainstream brands can reach out, why not us?

    Whenever I buy Shea Moisture in my city, which is the “whitest city in America”, I’m glad when I see other women buying it. If there is a market for it here, that means I can buy the products without having to order online, something I had to do in the past. I still like the shampoos.

    With that said, I don’t appreciate our struggle being erased. Straight hair or loosely curly haired women didn’t have to go though what we went though and still go through.

  4. tjcksn1 says:

    I tell me agree with everything you said about the shea moisture ad. But I’m not at all surprised by it. I have not use their products in a very long time for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned touches them coming out with way too many products to quickly it was just too much too overwhelming for me to be able to choose something that would actually work for me to be I feel like you’re not really taking time to actually formulate products to work for different here types like that. It’s like they’re just churning out a bunch of garbage I’ve never found one product from them that I’ve actually liked for my hair. And I’ve really don’t have that problem with many other brands.

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