My Black is Beautiful, a Proctor & Gamble owned brand has released an incredible ad touching on that most sensitive of topics. It highlights the first time Black children have to contend with their skin color being seen as problematic.
A young girl opens the ad, clutching a blond doll while her mother does her hair. “Who said that??” her mother asks sharply “That is NOT a compliment”. Black women everywhere already know, just based on tone, that this child had heard something, said by someone, who was not black, that had made the girl feel less than.
It’s common in our world, as black women, to come across the same feelings this girl did, most times in our youth. We hear the micro aggressions, from friends, from co-workers, and most of the time, brush it off and keep it moving. We put on a face as we struggle to sort out our feelings about how your crush things “you’re pretty for a black girl.” the same backhanded compliment this young girl received. We laugh nervously, before retreating to our desks when we hear “I just don’t find black women attractive” around the water cooler.
In our society, there comes a time, where every black parent has to talk to their child about the fact that the color of your skin will make other people see and treat you differently. My Black is Beautiful & P&G do an incredible job of highlighting these difficult conversations, both showcasing the identity crises these children have, and the steel resolve of their parents as they guide their kids through the harsh realities of the world. This ad is stark in its raw honesty. It’s the kind of honesty black people don’t often discuss in public spaces.
The brand does a great job of introducing the topic of “The Talk” to mainstream audiences, in an effort to get the conversation started about why there needs to be a conversation in the first place.The ad ends with a phrase
“Let’s all talk about ‘The Talk'”
Six words flashed across the screen in the last seconds of the ad. It’s a simple enough invitation, but the implications of each word hold the weight of a society burdened by unfair judgment. Ours.
Their goal is simple. It’s the very next sentence.
“So we can end the need to have it.”
A hundred thousand kudos to My Black is Beautiful and P&G for this ad. It broke me down, all while building me up.