Garnier "British Blonde" Haircolour

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  • 1 Post By Dedachan

This isn't about curly hair, but it is about hair and is still shameful.

Garnier Nutrisse is advertising a new range of hair colours in the UK called "British blonde" that is supposed to have been tested on "real British women."

1. Not all British people are blonde.
2. Not all blonde British people have the same hair texture.
3. A blonde British person can have the same hair colour and texture as someone who isn't British.

There is no such thing as "British blonde" except in some warped racist's mind.
Judging from this video they seem to be playing off the idea of iconic British images. It's a marketing gimmick to repackage the old. They're not fooling anyone, but I don't think they were being racist or xenophobic. They're just doing what most of ads do, which is to attribute qualities and ideas to products beyond what they actually do.

In my country, "Brazilian" is a qualifiying adjective used in many comercials too, but it's not meant in the obnoxious nationalistic way. Celebrating your nationality doesn't necessarily mean putting other nationalities down. I see many curly hair products marketed for "Brazilian hair" and I don't think anyone is offended by that.

Had this ad taken place in Germany or Austria, I'd have a different reaction.
Exactly what I thought , what the hell is 'British blonde' ?
Iconic images of a nationality don't work when you are actually in that country, and that country is culturally diverse. What would happen if someone were in a salon in Kansas, and the hairdresser said "Why don't I make you look more American?"

Germany and Austria are not the only countries that have issues with racism, by the way. There are white supremacists in the UK, and unfortunately, they do put different groups down by "celebrating" their Britishness.
I only mentioned those countries because displays of nationalism are more of a taboo over there for reasons that are obvious. This has nothing to do with how much racism is actually present there today and how much of it in Britain, as I don't think you can even quantify stuff like that.

I don't think you can establish universal rules. It's different everywhere you go, and it depends how it's said. Garnier (and I have no reason to defend them, just giving my honest impression of their campaign) isn't saying all British women are blondes. They are saying that those specific shades of blonde are British. The part should not be taken to signify the whole. That's a leap you made.

I think they were just exploring that 60s British vibe. I don't have a problem with anyone, British or forgein, exploring that imagery...Twiggy, mod culture, Union Jack, red telephones booth...all good fun and innocent. And blonde hair...well, they sell hair dyes. They have to paint blonde hair in a positive light, just as they do with every other shade they sell.

Honsestly, I think this is one case where people are reading way too much into things.
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In the past, "It's all fun and innocent" has often been used to excuse racist behaviour. It might not be fun and innocent to the people who are being marginalized. How do you think a British woman of Pakistani descent, with dark hair and dark skin, might feel if she sees a British flag superimposed with a photo of a pale skinned blonde haired blue-eyed women.
I am not saying it is racist , I saw it I was perplexed, and wondered why they would choose that way to sell their product
In the past, "It's all fun and innocent" has often been used to excuse racist behaviour. It might not be fun and innocent to the people who are being marginalized. How do you think a British woman of Pakistani descent, with dark hair and dark skin, might feel if she sees a British flag superimposed with a photo of a pale skinned blonde haired blue-eyed women.
Originally Posted by Malory
Malory, I used that expression when referring to British imagery but not to blonde hair. I adressed the "blonde" issue afterwards. So if you think red telephone booths and Twiggy are symbols of white supremacy or at least the beginning of a slippery slope, then I don't understand you at all. I do understand your concerns about the two things (nationality + hair color) being associated. It is a legitimate concern.

What I'm saying is that nationality can be celebrated in ways that aren't synonymous with xenophobia, and that's the vibe I got from the Garnier campaign.

I can't possibly guess what your hypothecial woman of Pakistani descent feels. Hypothecially, she might see it the way I do or the way you do, or find an alternative interpretation all together.
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Well, it bugs me when people assume I'm of Irish descent because of my traditionally-associated-with-both red hair, but I'd be surprised if a dark haired or blonde Irish person was offended or felt discriminated against because of an ad campaign "celebrating" a stereotype.

Speaking of which, I wonder if any Irish non-readheads were bothered by the old Irish Spring soap commercials?
I do kind of understand the point being made about stereotyping a nationality based on looks alone, and making assumptions because of that look.
I get annoyed when someone walks up to me and starts speaking spanish, assuming because of my nationality that I speak the language (I do not). I have also been told by spanish and non-spanish speakers that I "ought to" speak speak spanish because "you're mexican, aren't you?" In actuality, I'm Mexican, Italian, Native American, and French. I don't speak any language other than English, though. And I don't like being stereotyped because I have dark, CURLY hair (most latinas do, at least where I live), dark eyes, and pale, olive toned skin.
I would be very resentful of an ad that told me I didn't look like I belonged in my born country because I wasn't blond. I don't know if the Garnier ad does that, but a hair color called "British Blond" sure does raise my eyebrows. It would like calling one American Brunette (or blond) over here - for natural born citizens only.
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To be honest, even though I don't have a problem with this campaign and think I know what they were going for, if I worked for Garnier or their ad agency I would have predicted not everyone would see things the same way and would have warned them against it. They weren't racist. Just stupid.

I took some classes in college and realized I have very little respect for the field of advertising. I knew listening to my colleagues discuss how their pretend campaign would feature Giselle BŁndchen or some other big shot celebrity as a class exercise or hearing our professor go on about how everything was a phallic symbol was not the right way to spend my academic years. I'll never understand why anyone needs a degree for that.
well I understood it but I guess thats because I am the stereotype. Its actually hard finding a hair colour for me with pale skin and naturally blonde but greying streaks.
Fine hair too.
And I don't like being stereotyped because I have dark, CURLY hair (most latinas do, at least where I live), dark eyes, and pale, olive toned skin.
Originally Posted by Auntie Bubbs
That's my description (my pale skin tans easily too) and I'm of 1/2 Irish, 1/4 German, and 1/4 unknown ish decent (we have a good idea of bits and pieces like Native American and possibly French, but nothing certain). I get stereotyped a lot, and most of the time they aren't even close.

My sister has the same gene pool and she has straight blonde hair, super fair skin with freckles, and bright blue eyes. She's also very tall and big boned (but fit, as she's a swimmer), and I am shorter with a more slender build.

Genes are cool because you don't really know what's hiding in them, even within the same ancestral background, and if you're like my parents you get two total opposites. So "British Blonde" was really a really dumb way of putting it, but I don't really think it was targeting anyone like Abercrombie with their "Blondes are adored, brunettes are ignored" or "I had a nightmare I was a brunette" shirts.

Maybe they should try to expand on their British Blonde with British Brunette/Redhead to include everyone? Like the "Brilliant Brunette", "Sheer Blonde", and "Radiant Redhead" series.
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