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Black Model Who Appeared In Dove Ad Says It Was Not Racist

A black model who appeared in a Dove advert denounced on social media as racist users has defended the clip, saying that the images had been taken out of context.

Lola Ogunyemi unwittingly found herself at the center of an international fury over a three-second video posted on Dove’s U.S. Facebook page.

The short clip, taken from a longer commercial, shows Ms Ogunyemi in a skin-colored t-shirt, removing it to reveal a white woman, who then takes her top off to reveal an Asian woman.

However Ms Ogunyemi, from London, said the stills from the clip gave the wrong impression, and that the full Dove ad far from belittled black women, but celebrated ethnic diversity.

Ms Ogunyemi is British of Nigerian descent, but her family moved to the United States aged ten, and she grew up in Atlanta.

‘I don’t feel it was racist,’ she said in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday.

Many Facebook and Twitter users said the clip signaled that white people were cleaner or more beautiful than black people and likened it to 19th century soap adverts that showed black people scrubbing themselves to become white.

But Ogunyemi said the stills from the clip that shot around the internet over the weekend – which mostly showed only her and the white woman, leaving out the Asian woman – gave the wrong impression.

She said there was a 30-second, made-for-TV version that had other images and a slogan that made it much clearer that the intention was to say that all women deserved quality products.

‘The screenshots that have taken the media by storm paint a slightly different picture,’ she said.

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