Shea Moisture Under Fire For New Ad Featuring White Women

Shea Moisture is not having a good week. The beauty brand is being accused of whitewashing after they released an ad mostly featuring white women. The ad is for the companies "A Million Ways to Shea" campaign, which is making an effort to expand its consumer base. Black women use Shea Moisture predominantly since it was created in 1912. Many of them felt like the company was turning its back on them. Also, many black women were confused that the company would feature a different demographic in their advertisement since Shea's hair products are meant for a Black women's hair type. Many of them took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.


"Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate. You guys know that we have always stood for inclusion in beauty and have always fought for our community and given them credit for not just building our business but for shifting the beauty landscape... We are keenly aware of the journey that WOC face – and our work will continue to serve as the inspiration for work like the Perception Institute’s Good Hair Study/Implicit Association Test that suggests that a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their textured or natural hair. So, you’re right. We are different – and we should know better."


Sundial Brands (which owns Shea Moisture among other beauty brands) CEO and founder Richelieu Dennis also released her own statement assuring women that the brand was not betraying them.

Photo of CEO Richelieu Dennis

Photo of CEO Richelieu Dennis

"Women are concerned that as Shea Moisture grows, they want to make sure that we are not abandoning them or leaving them for a larger audience. We're definitely not going away from that, we are increasing our intensity in serving them."

Do you think the outrage over the ad went a little too far or not far enough? Watch the ad below and let us know what you think in the comments section below.