Hi Meltingpot readers,
Have you seen Dove’s new #LoveYourCurls video? There aren’t any references to Dove products in the video, so it actually feels more like a public service announcement than a commercial. The main message is that little girls with curly hair want straight hair because they believe it’s more beautiful. This of course, we can assume, will be detrimental to their self-esteem and body confidence. The solution, according to the social scientists employed by Dove, is for mothers and relatives and essentially anyone who is exposed to a young girl with curly hair, to stop straightening their own hair and learn to love their curls. In other words, ladies need to model self love. At that point, I suppose, a grown woman watching this video, whether she has children of her own or not, will decide to stop straightening her hair and from now on wear it curly, which means she’ll need a new arsenal of products. Enter Dove’s new line of Quench Absolute products and voila, Dove’s work is done. More women will wear their hair curly, more young girls will see this curly hair in public and feel proud of their own curls, Dove will sell a lot of shampoo and conditioner and everyone will be curly and happy and rich. Well, the Dove executives will be rich, the rest of us will be curly and happy.
Perhaps you note a twinge of sarcasm in my review of the video. I admit I am being a little snarky. The truth is, I watched the video with my own curly-haired daughter and smiled at all of the kinks and curls on display. I loved the fact that the girls interviewed were multi-hued and throughout the video a wide variety of young girls and women were portrayed. That’s always nice when shampoo companies acknowledge that not only White people buy hair products. Still, there’s a part of me that feels like Dove has simply utilized a very trendy “issue” to champion in order to sell more products. Not only does a “LoveYourCurls” campaign potentially draw in all of the Black hair bloggers and vloggers that dominate social media and are essential in making or breaking a new product, but they’ve managed to pull at the
heartstrings hairstrings of anybody who cares about young girls and self-esteem. I’m surprised they didn’t add a puppy or a cute kitten in the video for extra effect.
At the end of the day, I am all for the basic message of this video, which is quite simply to love your curls. And I do agree that if young girls saw more women with curly hair who were heralded as beautiful and smart and capable and there wasn’t such an incessant keening over straight hair in our society, that would be a step in the right direction. But I will always be a skeptic when commercial interests are involved. Now, if the Girl Scouts of America had made this video, I’d be telling all my friends about it.
Your thoughts, dear readers? I’m listening.