So, Watson’s made a blunder with their Raya ad by featuring a blackface insinuating that a fairer skin illustrates beauty. I don’t think there is anything Watson’s could say to justify their ad because it is a very poorly thought out concept and just plain inaccurate. I won’t even say insensitive because Watson’s definition of what is beautiful is a factual inaccuracy. Since there was an uproar to this ad, it is very clear that the public will not stand for this.
However, there is something that puzzles me. How is it possible that the same individuals who are enraged collectively to a single ad do not believe what they preach? In our daily lives, with our interactions with people, we judge our own beauty by colour, size and a standard template. We ourselves don’t believe the truth that we stand up for. We apply filters/makeup to lighten our skin. We try very hard to hide our perceived flaws (I am guilty of this too). However, when people we love beat themselves up for the same flaws, we are quick to assure them that the flaw does not make then less beautiful. I honestly don’t think this hypocrisy is out of malice, it is probably because we view people whom we love based on their human spirit. However, this does not help because in the same breath we also beat ourselves up for the same flaws. So, unintentionally everything we preach becomes just empty talk. It is hard to believe the words when we refuse to live this truth in our own lives.
We raise our eyebrows when dark skinned people wear bright colours, at fat people who dance or wear clothes that are deemed not flattering. We may all believe that colorism and sizesm is wrong in a broad sense but in our own personal lives, still subscribe to it. This extends to many things, including racial profiling. So, it is very important to understand our own prejudices, and of course to accept that social conditioning makes it impossible to escape this. We can however choose our reaction to it, to edit the prejudices that we impose upon ourselves. At the end of the day, being politically correct is easier than truly embracing the perceived flaws that lives in our heads.