Here's The Reason Why The Internet Is Pissed at Shea Moisture

April 24th 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

Brands—they’re just like us. They try to fit in, be inclusive, and catch on to whatever the kids are up to these days.

Consider Pepsi’s recent advertising blunder; an attempt to broaden their appeal, by capitalizing on activism culture, which failed spectacularly.

Shea Moisture is learning this lesson the hard way.

Shea Moisture is a black-owned family business who have catered to the beauty needs of women of color for 25 years. They brand has recently come under scrutiny for their #EverybodyGetsLove campaign, which now includes white women complaining about their hair, amongst women of color. 

The company spelled out the ad's intentions in a Facebook post at the beginning of April,  “We will never forget our roots and we will always hold up our community,” it said. “We are moving forward to build this brand into the first global, family-owned brand with the purpose of our community at its core...and there’s nothing disappointing in that.”

However, fans of the brand were not happy.

Fans and customers have been very vocal with how displeased they are, taking to Twitter to voice concerns.

Some pointed out that the problem went beyond the apparent whitewashing phenomenon but that the company had previously vowed to never do what they’ve done.

In response, Shea Moisture admits they have let their customers down by potentially making them feel devalued. 

The company posted an apology on Facebook, admitting that they “really f-ed this one up.”

“The feedback we are seeing here brings to light a very important point,” the statement said. “While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented.”

Beauty products and race have a complicated relationship—and Shea Moisture’s new campaign isn’t helping.

As the pushback to the campaign and Shea Moisture's mea culpa illustrated: black women have a powerful influence on the economy that shouldn't be devalued. As ATTN: shared last year, regarding another campaign by Shea Moisture, black women spend $7.5 billion dollars annually on beauty products, spend 80 percent more on cosmetics, and spend twice as much on skincare than other customers.