SheaMoisture vs PRIDE: Trying to be a Black Company while dealing with Black People


I have been having a series of guerrilla warfare battles on Facebook with a bunch of my friends over the whole entire Shea Moisture controversy and have decided that I cannot accept the current narrative being peddled around by many black women and brothers who act like they get it!   What I truly find disturbing is the fact that after one commercial, black women are up in arms and are ready to set Sundial ablaze for not having the foresight to know that they would be upset about the expansion of their products into other demographics.  Somehow, the crux of my critics seem to think that this one commercial embodies years of being neglected by the hair care industry.

I do not ignore racism and all its bi-prouducts used to discourage people of color from having any esteem about themselves.   I do understand that black women have had an extremely difficult time trying to fit into society when the standard of beauty has so often been defined by European features, but at the same time its 2017 and I question anyone who seems to base their sense of self worth on the texture of their hair.

This entire drama seems to have a certain level of fabricated victimization.  Let’s put this into context.    Shea Moisture is a product of Sundial Brands, LLC.  This brand has been a staple in the black community at-large for the last 10 years .  For the past few years, black women have been singing its praises and have been making recommendations to those who find conventional and commercial products lacking.   Due to the make up of the Shea Moisture products, it was more expensive than Dove and common name brand products, but cheaper than similar products meant to deal with “curly/nappy” hair such as Deva Curl or Carroll’s Daughter.   After Sundial landed major deal with Target & Wal-Mart, Shea Moisture had become readily available and common place.

In its marketing, it had never said it was a product exclusively made for Black women, but it could easily been perceived as such by the story on the side of each bottle:

Our Story

Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our Grandmother and SheaMoisture is her legacy.

I believe somehow this story gave black women the impression that this product was made exclusively for them; hence, the drama that ensued from their recent marketing campaign.

Sheamoisture Print ads

Prior to their recent campaign, SheaMoisture mainly did most of its advertising through print media.  Being that their product seemed to best serve black women, I’m sure you could find their ads in black magazines and and maybe some online ads, but on March 28th, the company posted an ad,

but much longer than the controversial one.  This ad was filled with all shades of black women and hair types, yet, this one ad is causing all the problems!   Bu..bu…but wait it gets worse !!!!!!   Sundial found itself perpetually in the red and eventually  started taking out loans against its own assets to have operating capital.   What this essentially means is that no matter how much black women sang its praises, it still continued to not make enough money to operate in the “black”, ironic isn’t it?

Insert Bain Capital!!!!  Yes, the infamous Bain Capital Investment Firm that was made popular from the 2012 Election season and Mitt Romney.   Bain had bought minority shares in Sundial because they saw the viability of their products.  In order for Bain to get a good return on its investment and make the company solvent, Sundial decided to revamp their formulas and expand their brand to other demographics.  Richelieu Dennis, chief executive of Sundial Brands, said in an interview with The Washington Post that the video aimed to spotlight the challenges all women face with defining their beauty.

This is where things hit the fan!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L-CqSUb6No

After this ad posted, Black women were up in Arms! The one woman of color was not enough & SheaMoisture had sold out! The media had taking notice and Sundial/SheaMositure was on the verge of regretting everything! Black people were running a Black Company through the dirt.

“The fact that our core community did not see themselves represented in that video is an error on our part,” said the CEO Richelieu Dennis. But “that is in no way an indication of us alienating or abandoning our core community as we grow … People are saying ‘SheaMoisture is now abandoning us for a different audience,’ but that is not true. It was simply an error, but that error was a big one.”

For most of this company’s existence its marketing had been targeted towards African-American women and from its statement, it never had intentions of abandoning them, but including others in the struggle for Hair-esteem!

So SheaMoisture wanted to help other women have appreciation for their hair in the same manner black women were rocking their moistened Fros and Locks and somehow this is a conspiracy against black women?  A black owned company has provided a product in which has helped millions of Women hair be able to be in a condition that they are proud of and somehow that’s a problem?

All because of one little ad that had  two white girls and light skin chick.

 

Something just doesn’t feel right about this scandal. It seems to be motivated in a selfishness rather than a stance  against some deep injustice.  Yet, there’s a part of me that wants to believe that these women are telling the truth, but from all I can see and all I can read, this call to ban the products under the stance that this company doesn’t appreciate black women any longer is Bull Scat.  Outside of this one video, there is absolutely no proof that Sundial and SheaMoisture products don’t value black women, but quite the contrary, the love them.

After the dust settles and you come to find that all those sistas who were raising a ruckus has resumed using SheaMoisture or decided to give their money to a black marketed product by a “white ” company, Bain Capital will either liquidate their shares sending Sundial back into the red or Bain buys more of Sundial and guys it like a fish, people will wonder…….whatever happened to SheaMoisture, I use to love that product!

One can cite cases of Negroes who opposed emancipation and denounced the abolitionists.

Carter G. Woodson

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