The model who appears in the Dove commercial that has been at the center of a racial firestorm this week is speaking out about her experience in a new Guardian opinion piece:. Lola Ogunyemi describes herself as a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta. She reveals that her experiences frequently being told from a young age that she was pretty … for a dark-skinned girl, made it clear to her that society believes darker skinned individuals would look better with lighter skin. Ogunyemi says this narrative is part of why she jumped at the opportunity to appear in a body wash ad for Dove.
She acknowledges that going into the experience she had no idea the ad would be so controversial:
Ogunyemi also reveals that she and the other models in the ad understood Dove’s intent:
Ogunyemi says the reaction to the full version was even better:
Ogunyemi finishes by saying both sides of the argument have merit, but what we love most of all is that she didn’t go into hiding after the backlash came. Instead she stood her ground — she is a beautiful woman and Dove recognized that: