In today's age, when we're constantly bombarded with messages from all sorts of brands and products, companies have to go to great lengths to get our attention. Unfortunately, the resulting ad campaigns don't always hit the mark, which is why it's easy to recall one or two controversial advertisements from the past few years.
It doesn't have to be a full-fledged campaign either. Sometimes it's a simple piece of imagery or a misguided message. Sometimes all it is is a short Instagram ad, like in L'Oréal Hair's case. Today, the brand posted an ad on Instagram for its Elvive Collection, which is a line of reparative hair-care products. It showed a Caucasian woman brushing her long and straight brown hair. The caption read "#DidYouKnow - your hair tangles when it's damaged? Test your damage by brushing your hair. If it doesn't tug or tangle, you have healthy hair!" Keep scrolling to see a screenshot of the post.
Clearly, this is problematic. The account's followers were quick to point out the brand's folly in the comments section. One person wrote, "I just have natural waves with a slight curl on occasion and my hair still tangles. This ad promotes serious tunnel vision and no diversity whatsoever." Another said "I guess curly hair/wavy haired people don't exist." Yet another wrote "apparently I've had damaged hair since birth."
Just because someone can't swipe a brush through their hair in one motion doesn't mean their hair is in any way damaged or unhealthy. That's for sure. It’s another example of a need for more diverse perspectives in the beauty industry, especially for those in positions of power. It’s a reminder that even the largest international beauty brands can fall prey to thinking in only Eurocentric beauty ideals. As one commenter put it, "Y'all should've ran this ad through a more diverse focus group, way to go."