Dove, the famous soap brand, is at the center of controversy after hiring Zyahna Bryant, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, for a ‘fat liberation’ campaign. Here’s the whole story.
“Fat Liberation” Campaign
Bryant, who proudly identifies as a plus-size influencer, posted on Instagram last week about her role as a Dove ambassador and her involvement in the “fat liberation” campaign.
Partnering With Dove
In her post, she wrote, “‘#DovePartner Fat liberation is something we should all be talking about!’ That’s why I am partnering with Dove, to support the work of @naafaofficial, @flareforjustice in the Campaign for Size Freedom.”
She also urged others to share their stories of ‘fat liberation’ using the hashtag #sizefreedom and by tagging @dove.
While Bryant received considerable support from her 27,000 Instagram followers for championing ‘fat liberation,’ her association with the cancellation of Morgan Bettinger triggered widespread condemnation on social media.
The controversy surrounding Bryant dates back to July 2020 when she claimed to have overheard threats made by Morgan Bettinger, a white student, against Black Lives Matter protesters in Charlottesville.
However, Bryant later admitted that she might have “misheard” the alleged threats.
Bettinger subsequently faced a barrage of abuse and a concerted campaign to have her removed from the University of Virginia.
Both staff and students united against her, effectively jeopardizing her future prospects.
First Rally at the Age of 12
Zyahna Bryant, who has gained recognition as a BLM activist, started her advocacy efforts at a young age.
Her website recounts her first rally at the age of 12, where she organized a demonstration for justice in the Trayvon Martin case.
Critics Are Boycotting Dove
Carole Thorpe, a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, expressed her outrage by sharing a photo of three Dove soap bars thrown in the trash.
Thorpe wrote, “After hearing that Dove Beauty chose Zyahna Bryant – who ruined Morgan Bettinger’s life – for their ‘fat acceptance ambassador,’ THIS lifelong large lady and now former Dove customer tossed out the last three bars of Dove product she will EVER buy. I have written to Unilever too.”
Social Media Users Shared Their Thoughts
Numerous others echoed her sentiments on social media platforms, with many pledging to stop purchasing Dove products.
Elon Musk Commented
Even Elon Musk weighed in on the Dove-Bryant partnership and commented: “messed up.”
Worse Than Dylan Mulvaney
One user wrote, “This woman put another UVA student through hell, and it was all a woke lie. Shame on Dove for hiring her. Worse than Dylan Mulvaney. #BoycottDove.”
Work Going Down the Drain
Another user added, “I’m sure the American Heart Association and the fight against diabetes love seeing all their work going down the drain.”
List of Banned Products
A third user commented, “Add that to my list of banned products. There are so many other soaps to select. Advertisers need to target their demographics better.”
Never Buy Dove Again
A fourth user wrote, “I’ll have to toss my Dove products and never buy them again!”
Similar to Bud Light
As the backlash against Dove intensifies, many draw parallels with a previous corporate misstep involving Bud Light.
Decline in Sales
The beer brand’s decision to partner with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to celebrate a year of living as a woman resulted in a furious backlash and a significant decline in sales.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tamara Lopdell. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.