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.


Random Thought of the Day: Mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are dirty bastards. During this heatwave I have worn shorts, a skirt and cropped trousers and haven’t had one mosquito bite to deal with. The past two days I’ve worn jeans, full length jeans and to my astonishment, three big ol’ mosquito bites have swollen up on my legs. How the hell did that happen?!

Clearly they like a challenge and they found it in me. I know mosquitoes are sneaky little creatures that feast upon whatever they can find but they ignored my bare legs when they were on show, but flew into no-go zones such as MY TROUSER LEGS and bit me and I am outraged by their brazen ways.

I hate them. I hate their smallness, I hate the way they buzz past my ear on some summer nights and force me to fight them at 3am with a rolled-up magazine. I hate the way they made me hurt my finger the other night when I tried to squish one into the wall (I got it eventually). They are probably the only reason why I don’t like summer. Irksome little sods.

Right, I’m going to throw this out there…

This subject popped into my mind over the weekend after a brief, random discussion with my sister (‘cos that’s how we roll, people) and I felt it was of such significant importance that I would write about it right here, right now.

What is the point of thongs?

A harsh little creation (no doubt invented by men) that causes much discomfort to women but is marketed as advantageous due to the wonder of not having a visible pantyline under your trousers or skirt.

Very few women look fabulous in a thong- I’m not being bitchy when I say this, just honest. They are not the most flattering of garments. I don’t have a washboard stomach, I’m curvy so if I wore one, they would sink into my hips like dental floss sinking into a sponge. I don’t wear them anymore but as a teenager back in the nineties, they were all the rage. Every girl and woman wore them under their clothes and I also was seduced by this alluring strip of lingerie and wore them thinking they would make me look (and feel) like a million dollars. Well, that was a load of guff, wasn’t it? Despite the thin piece of fabric snaking up towards Destination Backside, I persevered and carried on wearing them until one day I thought, enough is enough (is enough, I can’t go on, I can’t go on…sorry. Got a bit carried away there).

And there is the alarming realisation that- and there is no way I can sugar-coat this… farting is an issue when you wear a thong. Yes, I said it. Any men who are reading this, don’t be alarmed. I know you all think women don’t behave this way and I hate to break it to you in such so callously, but it’s true. I’m a lady so such times were a rarity. I mean, Sisqo sang fondly about thongs in his infamous ‘Thong Song’ but he’s never had to wear one, has he!

Of course, some women will read this and slate every word I’ve written and indeed, if you go into any lingerie department, these garments sell by the truckload. Now I am not proposing that we women worldwide burn every thong ever made (though that is not a bad idea). It’s just that I have worn them and just don’t understand why some women torture themselves with such a contraption. ‘Oh, I feel sexy when I wear one,’ they cry. ‘No VPL under my trousers!’ But there are plenty of different styles that provide this vital selling point. With bigger knickers, you don’t have to keep fixing yourself up while trying to maintain your ladylike demeanour.

I don’t know- the things we women (and some men, though I really don’t want to imagine such a vision) wear for vanity’s sake.