Superbalist commercial not racist, ASA rules

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint that a television commercial of online retailer Superbalist is racist and offensive.

The commercial features different models wearing clothes and accessories that Superbalist sells.

Brenda van der Hoff complained about a scene where a white woman is shown on a television wearing braids in a hair salon filled with black women.

The caption on the television reads: “Is it appropriation or celebration?” The voice–over says: “The world is watching‚ listening‚ telling our story‚ theirs‚ hers and mine. Show them.”

Van der Hoff complained that a woman in the salon rolls her eyes and her facial expression shows that she thinks the white woman’s braids are “ridiculous”. Van der Hoff believes it is fine for black African women to wear their hair as weaves‚ braids or natural‚ but a white African woman is judged for doing the same.

Thinus Welthagen believes the commercial is racist‚ because the only white woman is “depicted as “telling a story that it is not hers to tell”. “She has braids and that is seen as a bad thing.”

Superbalist said the salon scene was a take on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram post in January this year in which she was wearing similar braids‚ which led to debates on cultural appropriation.