The black model who appeared in a Dove ad that is facing accusations of racism says she is not a “victim” of the company.
Lola Ogunyemi on Tuesday added that some viewers have “misinterpreted” the controversial Facebook clip since its initial appearance last week.
“I can see how snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue,” she wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian.
“While I agree with Dove’s response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign,” Ogunyemi added.
“I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.”
Some Twitter users on Tuesday praised Ogunyemi, who is of Nigerian descent, for defending her role in the spot.
Fantastic piece!👏🏿 || I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim https://t.co/BQs9YluZFt— Toye Adedapo (@ToyeAdedapo) October 10, 2017
And this is how u start normal debates uff... I'm the woman in 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim | Lola Ogunyemi https://t.co/lBTpCg1oGs— Alexandre Pólvora 📡 (@discomplex) October 10, 2017
Dove posted a three-second GIF on Facebook last week promoting its body wash with three women, one of whom was Ogunyemi.
The video features each woman removing her shirt to transform into the next one, with Ogunyemi turning into a white woman.
The commercial then sparked uproar on social media, with critics accusing Dove of racial insensitivity.
Dove next apologized for the clip, which has since been deleted, in a statement on Facebook last Saturday.
“Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity,” the company, which is owned by Unilever, said.
“In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense it has caused.”
Dove issued an apology for the ad.