Updated Apr 15, 3:20 p.m.
Recently, I wrote a piece about the controversial GlutaMAX ad, and admitted I’m looking forward to how they were going to explain that mess of a campaign. Turns out, I didn’t have to wait long. Following the public backlash, here’s their initial (disappointing) response to critics.
As noted by Estèe Laundry, their statement reads, “GlutaMAX respects the dignity of the Filipino and our aim is to provide products that empower rather than discriminate.”
“Biases continue to be held by society, and many Filipinos experience it firsthand,” they continued. “This is a truth that exists.”
Ultimately, they claim, “The brand agrees that all skin tones are beautiful, and at the same time, believes that everyone is entitled to choose what empowers them.”
It seems the brand missed the mark with this apology. I mean, if they really want to empower women, then they shouldn’t capitalize on women’s insecurities brought forth by colonial beauty standards. They shouldn’t suggest that by changing their skin color, morenas will become better off in life either. FYI, that’s not empowerment. That’s promoting white privilege.
Many netizens agree. And with increasing flak, the brand finally decided to apologize for the campaign. In their official statement, they said that the criticisms taught them “Talking about skin is never a skin-deep issue. It’s a minefield of sensitivities, of deeply held beliefs, and should never be taken lightly.” Adding, “We believe that the best intentions are never an excuse for causing harm. And for all those that we’ve offended over the past few days, we offer our sincerest apologies.”
While I do appreciate the apology, I still think it’s kind of problematic. What I’m getting from the statement is that they now realize that people are “sensitive” and they are sorry for hurting them. But ultimately, I feel like GlutaMAX still doesn’t understand why their campaign is wrong, as they’re still insisting they only have the “best intention.” What do you think?
Photo courtesy of @freddiedispo’s Instagram account
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