Pear Sh(e)aped.

Shea Moisture. You bunch of doughnuts.

Your brand catered for black people’s hair, mainly natural hair. Black women with thick, coarse, natural non-relaxed hair buy 99.9% of your products. So why did you bring out a new advert (now deleted but I’m sure it can be found floating in the internet ether) with absolutely no representation of this group of people?

I saw Shea Moisture trending on social media last night so I checked it out and this advert popped up. By the end of the 60 second promo I was surprised by how unrepresentative it was.

As usual, with products out there that initially catered to black women (Sleek Makeup, anyone?) the brand owners decided that the Black Pound is not enough and are now targeting white women for their custom. Then your ad comes out and you have not one, but two white women in your advert (along with a light skinned, possibly mixed race woman), all talking about ‘hair hate’. Talking about how they have so many issues with their hair. What the hell?

The hair issues of women like the ones in your advert (which usually consists of ‘Shall I wear my hair back or loose today?’ or ‘Which shampoo shall I buy from the supermarket out of the hundreds I can use?’) are considerably different to those of black women with thick natural hair, for whom just deciding what to do with their hair is often a struggle. Where were the women with 4a/4b/4c hair? You know- the ones that actually use your products? Most times, they can’t just put it all back in a ponytail. Most times they need a shitload of products to ensure their hair doesn’t dry out an hour after they moisturised it. Most times they do not have the breadth of choice that women with Caucasian hair have when it comes to choosing products because a lot of the mainstream stores do not stock many products for our type of hair. 
Also, when they go to the nearest Boots, Superdrug or supermarket, white women have 1,001 products to choose from because most of the hair products sold are for Caucasian hair. They don’t have to worry and search high and low for a product that works with their hair. They don’t have to go to specific hair stores to buy their items. They don’t have to spend ages everyday sorting or ‘taming’ their hair for fear of their hair (and hair texture) being called ‘unprofessional’ or ‘unsuitable for the workplace’. Even something as simple as hair gel is a problem for women with natural (and relaxed) hair because everyday gels don’t do much. 

As for those who think it’s great that Shea Moisure are being more inclusive and that black women are whining over nothing because apparently that’s what we’re good at… 

You know what happens when a product that was specifically made for black women becomes a product for everybody? Do you know who gets left out? That’s right: black women. The very people who parted with hard-earned cash and through word of mouth made the brand what it is today. But clearly our money and our opinion and our needs don’t mean shit. 

The majority of white women (or those with Caucasian hair) cannot handle Shea butter and certain thick oils in their hair follicles as it’s too heavy. So the product formulas that worked well for the naturalistas will no longer be as effective as they will be diluted (and you can count on that). Because, fuck effectiveness for those that supported you from the start if you can cater for everyone, right?


As you can tell by my writing, I think this entire situation is pure fuckery. The worst thing is that the owners of Shea Moisture were lacking in self-awareness as they didn’t realise there was a problem until they saw the big backlash on social media. They even started their Facebook post with ‘Wow. Okay…’ What were they expecting? Black women to give them a standing ovation? Yet again, we’ve seen black-owned products catering for black-ass people (but not promoting this aspect, funnily enough), but as soon as they get a whiff of mainstream attention or a shout-out in Cosmopolitan or Grazia, they shout from the rooftops that they cater for ‘EVERYONE’. 

Shea Moisture deserve every bit of negative publicity that they get from this. Here’s hoping they learn from this, but I doubt it.

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Sizing Up ‘Mermaid Thighs’.

A new trend has apparently swept social media and women are feeling happier and perkier because of it. It’s called ‘mermaid thighs’ and is (and I quote): ‘curvy thighs that meet like a mermaid’s tail.’ Sounds like everyday regular thighs to me but, to my surprise, I found over 6,000 posts on Instagram tagged with #mermaidthighs, all proclaiming body positivity.

I am 110% for body positivity and if you want to post a photo of your thighs for the world to see, then go for it. My issue with ‘mermaid thighs’ is that something that 98% of women have is being treated as a trend. It is not a trend. I’m always late when it comes to following trends anyway and having big thighs is not something I wanted to try for a while and then discard when something new comes along- I was born this way, so I work with it. 

Why are people marvelling in wonder at such a thing? ‘Oh my word- a pair of big thighs! On a woman! Wow!’ Seriously? It is a normal thing that a lot of women have, like cellulite or short eyelashes, so pardon me if I do not see why ‘mermaid thighs’ are considered revolutionary.

If we go back in time to the whole ‘thigh gap’ phase, as we all should know by now that was something promoted to make women feel inferior to models and celebrities who had these airbrushed into their pictures. Of course, there are naturally slim women who have naturally slender thighs and that’s lovely but this is not about them- this is about women like me who have thighs that could start a fire (possibly). Possessing a pair of ‘mermaid thighs’ sounds nice but is not something that I feel needs a funky name attached to it. Nor is it something to be ashamed of. To class it as a trend is problematic. We should not treat it as something that is in season one minute, but when summer comes around, suddenly it is ot of fashion. It is a vicious circle that messes with women’s heads as they feel like they are never enough. To put it bluntly, it’s bullshit. 

So as I say, if you want to post your big beautiful thighs (or other parts of your body) on social media, do it- but don’t be sucked into doing it as part of a ‘trend’. For many of us, it’s a fact of life so sod your trendy terminology. I’ve got chunky thighs and that’s that. 

The Vamp.

She rests her hand upon her hip,
Her nails are on point,
The colour so vampish, she knows it’ll put
The bitch at work’s nose out of joint.
She smacks her lips together so
Her lipstick is evenly spread,
‘You need to jazz yourself up a bit,’
That’s what her mother said.
The bitch at work called her frumpy,
Was what she wore that bad?
And who is she to judge anyway?
She’s into stupid fads
And she always manages to make them look
So vulgar and so cheap,
I’ll show her, she thought, I’ll look so damn good
That she’ll want to weep.
She smoothes down her red skirt
And presses her lips once more,
Then nods at her reflection in the mirror before
She struts on out the door.

Video

Tune!

I discovered this song about 2 hours ago and haven’t stopped playing it since. You know there are women out there who have this as their anthem, even though it’s satirical. Brilliant lyrics throughout but I keep rewinding the bridge from 2:15 onwards (it’s too damn good). I hope it ends up being a massive hit.

Jazmine Sullivan- Mascara

World Cup Fever!

Yaaaaaaasssss!!! Today is the day, people! Forget the nonsense surrounding FIFA and Sepp(tic) Blatter, the World Cup 2014 is almost upon us!! And to celebrate this event, I’ve painted my nails in Brazilian colours:

image

I’m supporting England although I’ve got four other teams in the work sweepstake, NONE of whom are going to win me the pride of being a World Cup winner and the huge jackpot that comes with it (currently standing at £25). But then again, neither are England, although I feel positive vibes about this bunch. We’ve been there so many times with the endless hype and bollocks about the ‘golden generation’ (gah!) and after the debacle in South Africa under Fabio Capello, it’s nice to see Roy Hodgson put his faith in youth (Sturridge! Sterling! Barkley!) and experience. I think we’ll give a good account of ourselves.

Despite my Brazilian samba-style nails, I have not got a clue as to which team will win- I’m not Paul the octopus. Even with the advantage of being on home soil, I think Brazil might bounce out at the semi-final stage. All I know is I think it’ll be a brilliant World Cup, with everyone going for it thanks to their stunning sunny surroundings. That said though, London town is currently hotter than Sao Paulo at a tropical 25 degrees. Who’d have thunk it?!

At least vuvuzelas have been banned from this World Cup- I don’t miss that droning sound one bit. But the official World Cup maracas are, shall we say, a bit dodgy in their appearance given the current climate in Brazil (i.e: protests aplenty). It looks like a hand-grenade-cum-knuckle-duster. Imagine if an overzealous fan lobs that onto the pitch- it’s a mass evacuation in waiting.

Anyway, let’s forget all that. Roll on 9pm tonight when it all kicks off (on the pitch, I mean). Brazil v Croatia. I’m so excited!!