I saw an ad on TV the other day for SheaMoisture. SheaMoisture is a haircare line designed (I suppose, but I'm not quite sure) for "ethnic" hair. The ad which, hopefully you can see here:
(If you can't see the ad it shows the Black women confused and obviously hurt because they can't shop shoulder to shoulder with their white counterparts as they select shampoos and pomades. SheaMoisture comes to the rescue as the only one who sympathizes with the Black condition, inviting Black customers to cross the line and move over into the "white's only section (did I really write that?)." By the way, the mixed girl is with her mom on the "better" aisle.)
Anyway...here's where I am on this. I'm not impressed. I'm looking at the ad and I see that SM is trying to make us feel better about ourselves by making the attempt to pull me into something that they say is equal by throwing me into a sea of different and then telling me that I'm better off for it and, all this after SM told us they weren't for us in the first place.
Oh...wait, what am I talking about?
Last year Shea Moisture was in the news because they used white models as the images to
sell their products. Not just this ad either, there were several... We got mad and rose a stink about it.
What made us think a thing marked Shea Butter, or Cocoa Butter, or Coconut Oil belong to us?
And... who told us SheaMoisture was a Black Hair Care Product in the first place?
Granted, I was irritated in the '80s when I started buying my own hair care products and to my dismay, came to the disappointing realization that the products for my hair, if there were any in the store, were tucked away, not on the other side of the hair care aisle, or at the end of the aisle in its own section, but that it was on the bottom shelf under the foot powder and fungus remedies.
Flash forward to today, the section, and it still is its own section, is easy to find.
It's on the hair care aisle (where I shop) and there are 100%, maybe 150% more products than before.
I'm not mad about it. They've made it easy for me to find what I want. (Remember the spices and the ethnic spices aren't in the same place in the store either.) If I want to find a store filled with products designed for my type of hair there are indoor swap meets full of them. Certainly I can shop at a beauty supply (the one in my "white neighborhood is a topic for another time).
But, if I wanted SheaMoisture, where do you suppose
I would find them in the neighborhood store?
Would I feel better about shopping for them?
Would I feel... included?
Would shopping for SheaMoisture make me feel better about myself?
Well, I was in the store and looked today. Yay! SheaMoisture, for the breakthrough. Aside from being very difficult to locate in the sea of products I found you here:
I think I'm feeling some kind of way about the whole thing.
I think I'll just go to the section where I can find what I need or better yet,
I'll buy my products hand-to-hand or online from small businesses who
truly have my interests in mind.