In case you missed it, SkinWhite recently launched a campaign which promotes the idea that ‘Dark or White is Beautiful’ by featuring twins, Marianne and Martha Bibal.
— SkinWhite (@SkinWhitePH) April 3, 2019
And while the message itself is pretty noble, the idea of a skin whitening brand telling everyone that it’s okay to be dark or brown-skinned left everyone feeling a little bit…. confused.
your brand is literally called skinwhite https://t.co/A7IsVu3DZM
— lanz (@lanznathanjohn) April 5, 2019
Maybe you should hire an Inclusion and Diversity person to explain how this ad is so cognitive dissonant? Or not try to be pabibo and sell inclusion, kase di ba, you are selling a whitening product? Dark or white is beautiful- and by the way we are selling a whitening product?
— Icar Cadayong (@carmary) April 5, 2019
dark or white, you are beautiful – says a brand that profits from making skin light. And gurl, your brand is literally named SkinWHITE. Shut up. https://t.co/HBPGo9jKER
— junc/o (@juncoc0) April 5, 2019
What’s even more controversial was that one of the models used in the campaign isn’t naturally brown-skinned at all. Apparently, she was just made up or edited to look like so.
This, of course, added fuel to the fire.
I repeat, you CANNOT preach acceptance of dark skin when you DON’T EVEN USE A REAL DARK SKINNED MODEL FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN.
There are so many beautiful dark skinned models yet you chose to do blackface instead? Explain @SkinWhitePH
(Photos are Marianne and Martha respectively.) pic.twitter.com/3mHaQ9Hjk6
— 💜 Iris Vicencio 💜 (@irisvicencio) April 5, 2019
1. It's obvious that you're just doing this for idk, publicity, sales, or more investors (?) bc you are literally called SkinWHITE. All your products are labeled SkinWHITE.
2. Why do blackface? If you really believe that all skin colors are beautiful, why not hire a morena model? https://t.co/TCEBAYvrNx
— nica ✨ (@nicarodriguezz) April 5, 2019
nakakaloka SkinWhite ha?? from falsely "advocating" that all skin colors are beautiful yet advertising whitening products to using "darkened" fair-skinned models for your campaign. What a TRASH. https://t.co/pD3zl9vJH6
— Kate Nicole (@CandidlyKate) April 5, 2019
On Facebook, SkinWhite defended themselves from the same set of criticisms. Apparently, they used the similarity of the twins to ‘communicate that both colors are beautiful.’
And as for the overall intention of their #DarkorWhiteisBeautiful campaign? The brand explains that they are simply telling everyone that they ‘respect the choice you make in defining your standard of beauty’.