Dear Future Husband,
I don’t get in my feelings about much…well not much that doesn’t have to do with me. I will hear news stories and think “Awww, that’s sad” or send you a link with a few thoughts, but that’s usually the extent of my reactions. This past week I was in my feelings deep about Shea Moisture and wrote this letter. Please note that when I bring things like this to you I will want your opinion, your ideas about the situation, and all that…but I will have a mental slide show presentation prepared to validate my thoughts and feelings.
I’m not throwing out what I already have (one BOGO sale has me set for at least a year)
When looking at the recent issues surrounding Shea Moisture I thought about why so many people were upset and how this is sincerely affecting the black hair community…more importantly, I had to sort through my own feelings about this issue. So here’s my open letter to Shea Moisture.
Dear Shea Moisture,
I can’t say that I accept your apology for the ads you ran earlier this week, simply because it seems like an afterthought. You apologized and made remarks only after there was an outcry against your actions, but I had to think about you in the same manner that I think about a relationship. If you loved and valued me you would have never done this in the first place.
I did the boldest thing I could do at the age of 24 and cut off all my hair and became “natural”. I remember going through tons of products that did nothing for my hair until I found Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and shine Shampoo. I remember buying this product and literally falling in love. Finally, a product formulated for my hair that didn’t dry it out or make it stiff after a good shampoo. I went back to the store and purchased one of each item available at that time and didn’t mind the cost because I finally had something designed with me in mind.
Over the years I would look for a post from one of my natural friends to say the magic words: “Walgreens has Shea Moisture on BOGO”. This was Christmas in the middle of the year! I would go and stock up on products and buy things I never tried before…simply because it was Shea Moisture. I understood that when I purchased this line of haircare products I was funding a dream built on the back of hard work, sacrifice and dedication to a community often forgotten.
Now my issue, can we have ANYTHING? I mean seriously!! When I walk around Walmart, Target, or any other retailer it’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” to find the small section of the store dedicated to my “Ethnic Hair” care products. I always chuckle when I find the small section with du rags, wave caps, Duke processing treatments, and those brushes that hurt your forehead. This has always been frustrating and to know that a product that has been valued in the black hair care community is crossing over to service “all” is beyond disappointing.
In my research of the ads I was shocked to learn the following things:
Ingredients have been changed to fit all hair types
You have a white woman serving as your VP of Brand Strategy
Mitt Romney has been tied to your organization in the past
You don’t plan to revert to your original formula
The Liberian-born founder made the following statement: “We already have few Black businesses in beauty. I think that it is a mistake to abandon a brand that has served and continues to service because of a Facebook post. Look at our track record, look at what we’ve done, we are a business that is trying to grow and we need that support.” Excuse me, sir, have you not learned how the black community responds to what we discern as foolishness?? If our support was necessary you should have considered this before you made the post.
As an African American consumer I must say, Shea Moisture…I’m done.
I guess I wasn’t enough