From movies to magazines, it seems being a black woman who self identifies as such, is very much OUT. I couldn’t help but be reminded of this when I saw the press release about Cassie, Solange and Selita Ebanks being named the new diverse faces of Carol’s Daughter products.
Looking at this group of women, who all self identify as multi-ethnic, I couldn’t help but wonder how these three women and the words “Beauty in Diversity,” could be used in the same sentence. Most of all, I couldn’t help but wonder why Carol’s Daughter, a company owned by a brown skin woman and built on the backs of black women, would not use at least one sista that had just a hint of color and PROUDLY self identified as a black woman.
In other words, where are the Brown Sistas? Do we not exist anymore? Are we too black to be even be acknowledged?
It appears we are.
Steve Stout, a black man, and the marketing genius *sarcasm* behind this campaign, had this to say about the choice of Selita (Irish, Native American, Black) Solange (Black,Creole) and Cassie (Mexican Filipino, Black) as brand ambassadors for Carol’s Daughter.
“What we’re doing now is moving into a polyethnic space. We want to be the first beauty brand that truly captures the beauty of the tapestry of skin types in America. When I say polyethnic, I mean women who are made up of several ethnicities. If you ask them what they are, they’re going to use a lot of different words to describe themselves. That’s in line with the Census data coming out — people are checking much more than two boxes. We believe we’ve put together a shoot that celebrates many different ethnicities, to become a mirror of what America’s really becoming.[…]“They will serve as cultural ambassadors in bringing forth this acceptance that the definition of beauty is now colorless. There are no longer boxes of white, black, Latina, Asian. More and more women are checking the other box, they share the vision and embody the messaging in their attitude, appearance, projects and core values.”
Selita added: “Today, people are blended, and I think the three of us are a prime example. Women in my family range from vanilla to the deepest chocolate.”
Now I truly have no problem with diversity and people who self identify as many things. I do however have a problem with a world that seems to moving closer and closer to wanting to wipe visibly black women off the map, even in our own communities and our own spaces. Just as black women are no longer the obvious choice to play alongside black men in movies, we are also no longer the first choice to be considered in ad campaigns for a product line we help put on the map.
And by the way, does Steve Stout and Carol’s Daughter not recognize that diversity can also be found in very brown and black skin women? I’m sure they do, but in a polyethnic world, a world they clearly want in on, I guess the darkies just don’t count.