Offensive, disrespectful and racist – that’s how some Black women have described an online advertisement by health and lifestyle retailer Clicks.
On Friday, the retail giant caused social media outrage after an image of a Black woman’s hair was labelled ‘dry and damaged’ while the image of a White woman’s hair was labelled as ‘fine and flat’.
Clicks later removed the images and posted an apology, but anger continues to swell over the advert and the #ClicksMustFall is still trending on social media.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the advert constitutes a human rights violation. The party has also threatened to shut down Clicks’ stores. It has given Clicks Saturday night to meet its list of demands.
Party Spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya describes the advertisement as a regression to the apartheid era.
“The transgression that Clicks has made goes far beyond a simple advert it is part of long history of making the features of black people abnormal and insufficient and uncivilised. Clicks must therefore be regarded as having committed a human rights violation because their advert is a perpetuation of the violence of colonialism and racism. All progressive forces must embark on direct action to ensure clicks is held accountable.”
Women in Johannesburg say they were offended by the advert. “Personally, I found it very offensive because it used adjectives that were lovely for the White people’s hair, and for our hair they used derogatory terms. So for me, that was very offensive,” one woman said.
“I felt that it was very discriminatory because we’re in 2020; you can’t as a business be that ignorant about your dynamics. I mean this country is majority Black,” another woman added.
“I was really mad when I saw those ads, how can you view our hair like that? It’s very disrespectful and I can’t believe we’re having these chats in 2020,” said another Johannesburg resident.