Being a parent comes with an innate sense of fear for your child’s safety and concern for their well-being, but for parents of children of colour, the stakes are even greater.
With mainstream media continually perpetuating one definition of what it means to be beautiful, teaching your child to love themselves when the messages they are bombarded with every day show they are less-than is an ongoing struggle. When it comes to discrimination that leads to violence, the odds of it affecting children and people of colour continue to be greatly disproportionate, especially in the U.S.
A new ad from Procter and Gamble takes on both these concerns, with the ad jumping between four mothers and their children, with two stories set in the 1950s and two in current day, showing that sadly, not much has changed.
The video opens with a mother brushing her daughter’s hair, while the little girl says that a woman in a store told her she was ‘pretty for a black girl.’ Another shot shows a mother talking to her young son who has recently been called a racial slur. In the two current montages, both mothers fear for the safety of their teenage children who are new drivers, knowing the likelihood of them being pulled over while driving is much higher than for other teenagers.
The ad is a sobering reminder of the types of talks parents of colour have been having with their children for decades, with the video concluding with the line, “Let’s talk about ‘the talk’ so we can end the need to have it.”
‘The Talk’ was just released this month and is part of Procter and Gamble’s ‘My Black Is Beautiful’ campaign, which the company says “celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard — one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit.”
With many companies trying and failing (ahem*Pepsi*ahem) to garner customer support by tackling racism and diversity in their ads, P&G has succeeded in taking on a delicate topic that is tragically still a necessary discussion in millions of households.