Saturday, 21 March 2015

Nivea gets flak for stigmatising women with dark Armpits

Body-care brand Nivea has been criticised for preying on women’s insecurities about body image | Photo: Facebook / Nivea / Screen grab

Some Facebook users have been criticising Nivea, a popular body-care brand in Singapore, over an advertisement for its underarm deodorant.

The three-minute-long clip posted on Facebook on 28 February shows a woman being shunned for having dark armpits.

While many have found the ad to be humourous, some have criticised Nivea for highlighting insecurities about body image.

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AWARE Singapore slams Nivea for playing up women’s insecurities

Women’s rights group AWARE Singapore has slammed Nivea for its latest ad.

The three minute ad depicts the perils of a modern day woman who was caught in awkward social situations due to her dark underarms. The ad has been shared over 383 times since it was posted on 28 February on Facebook and caught the attention of AWARE yesterday following a number of consumers slamming the brand for the ad.

“Apparently having the ‘wrong’ colour of armpit makes you unfit to interact with other human beings. This is supposedly humour – but is promoting shame and insecurity about our bodies a laughing matter?” said AWARE in its Facebook page.

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Nivea says sorry for dark arm pits video
Nivea Singapore has apologised for a video that drew criticism for stigmatising women with dark underarm skin last week

The company removed the video after complaints hit the brand from social media and a gender equality group that said the film – which featured a women who is socially ostracised for having dark arm pits – was “promoting shame and insecurity” among women.

In a post on its Facebook page, the company wrote:

  • We appreciate all your comments and feedback on our NIVEA deodorant Extra White and Firm Q10 video.
  • Our intention was never to demean or hold women to certain standards of beauty.
  • We apologise if our video has generated controversy, and for not giving such sensitivities the weight they deserve. The video has since been removed.
  • We thank you for your valuable feedback and will take these into consideration for our future campaigns.

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Nivea deletes video slammed for shaming Singaporean women with dark arm pits
Nivea has removed a video from its Facebook page that was widely criticised for stigmatising women in Singapore with dark underarm skin

Nivea’s film was described as “cheap humour” with a “terrible message”. The film promoting NIVEA Extra white & firm Q10 deodorant featured a girl who was shunned by people young and old because of the colour of her arm pits.

It was deleted this afternoon after a strong response from women who objected to the message it was portraying. Nivea told Mumbrella that it had removed the offending video, which was criticised by many on Nivea’s Facebook fan page as well as gender equality group AWARE Singapore.

AWARE in a Facebook post said yesterday: “Apparently having the ‘wrong’ colour of armpit makes you unfit to interact with other human beings. This is supposedly humour – but is promoting shame and insecurity about our bodies a laughing matter? Some commenters let NIVEA know about their objections – good on them!”

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Nivea slammed for stigmatising Singaporean women with dark arm pits in video for skin whitening deodorant

Body care brand Nivea has come under fire in social media and by a women’s rights group in Singapore for stigmatising women with dark arm pit skin.

A three-minute video posted on Nivea’s Facebook page features a young Singaporean woman who is shunned by members of the public because she has darkly coloured arm pits.

The response to the supposedly humorous video was mixed, but some objected to the brand suggesting that women with darker arm pits should be socially ostracised, and use Nivea deodorant as a solution to their problem. Nivea’s Extra White & Firm Q10 Deodorant contains whitening and firming ingredients.

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NIVEA Deletes 'Insensitive' Ad about Girls with Dark Armpits

Nivea has deleted a controversial video ad that they put out a few days earlier after it received a lot of flak online from women who accused it of promoting insecurities and imposing unrealistic "beauty" expectations.

The video featured a popular local YouTube personality getting into awkward situations during her day because her armpits were dark.

The video showed strangers young and old and even her friends being shocked at her dark armpits as she raised her arms in everyday situations such as calling a waiter, flagging down a cab and tying up her hair.

related: NIVEA gets Slammed for 'Insensitive' Advertisement

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Singaporeans and aware slam nivea ad about malay woman being shunned for dark armpits

According to women's rights group AWARE, NIVEA's recent TV advertisement about a Singaporean woman being shunned for her dark armpits actually promotes "shame and insecurity about our bodies".

NIVEA's 3 minute long advertisement films a young, attractive Malay woman, who unwittingly shows off her dark armpits in daily life situations, like flagging down a taxi or at the gym.

Throughout the course of the video, the lady receives disgusted looks from onlookers, who rush to get away from her when she raises her arms. The poor woman is clueless about their reactions until she herself realizes how dark her own armpits are.

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Humour: The armpit & the pabulum

Unfortunately, you can't view the video any more to count exactly how many shades there are in Maimunah's armpits because the video has since been removed after it was criticised for highlighting another body part for women to feel self-conscious about.

The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) naturally raised a stink, saying: "Apparently, having the 'wrong' colour of armpit makes you unfit to interact with other human beings. This is supposedly humour but is promoting shame and insecurity about our bodies a laughing matter?"

I guess it's safe to assume Nivea isn't sponsoring the carnival at Hong Lim Park from 4pm to 9pm today organised by Aware to celebrate International Women's Day.

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Armpit hair to stay, some women say
Hundreds of Chinese women have joined a recent armpit selfies competition on micro-blogging service Sina Weibo, proudly displaying their unshaven armpits

Started by a popular Sina Weibo public account, the contest is called "girls not plucking armpit hair". It encourages Chinese females to post a photo of their armpit hair to demonstrate their natural beauty, to echo similar events overseas.

These selfies of pretty young Chinese women, with their underarm hair exposed, have stirred hot debate online. Some netizens said it's gross to see such photos, some believe the pictures show the confidence and courage of Chinese women who want to challenge social norms.

Of the more than 6,400 respondents who participated in a survey on Sina Weibo, more than 70 per cent said it's better to shave armpit hair because it will make one more beautiful, while others argued that it's natural and healthy to keep the hair.

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