Nivea Says Afros Are Uncivilized


Nivea is running an ad that shows a clean-shaven black man with close-cropped hair who looks like he’s about to go bowling with a decapitated head. He’s holding the head by its Afro. Tag-line: RE-CIVILIZE YOURSELF. Ah, yes, the enlightened and highly appropriate association of black hair (and, by extension, black people) with the lack of civilization. Truly groundbreaking stuff, Nivea. But I gotta say, your original idea — making the tag-line “Ooga Booga! Black People Are Scary!” — was way edgier.

?uestlove has already Tweeted his disapproval, calling Nivea a “lotion with a 38-yr-old Atlanta stripper’s name.” Point to ?uestlove.

This is far from the first time that advertising (or the fashion industry more broadly) has sent the message that natural, non-relaxed black hair in general and the Afro hairstyle in particular are unruly, frightening marks of savagery. In 2007, a Glamour editor later identified as Ashley Baker told a room full of lawyers that an Afro was an office Don’t. “‘No offense,’ she sniffed, but those ‘political’ hairstyles really have to go,” wrote American Lawyer.

Nivea Lotion Ad Says Afros Are Uncivilized [TheLoop21]

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