Despite its initial similarity to a skincare ad, this 60 second spot for the Waris Dirie Foundation deals with a very different standard of female beauty:
Waris Dirie is a Somali model, author, actress and human rights activist known for her work against female genital mutilation — as well as for better education and healthcare in Somalia
From the Waris Dirie Foundation web site:
“For over 12 years, Waris Dirie has fought against female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide. At least 150 million women and girls are affected by this cruel practice, which continues to be performed in Africa, but also in Asia, Europe, America and Australia.
The Waris Dirie Foundation seeks to end this crime by raising public awareness, creating networks, organizing events and educational programmes. The foundation also supports victims of FGM.”
Of course, this ad raises the same old questions about bringing a “foreign” issue home to Western first world audiences: Would it have been felt as strongly by white viewers if the woman in the ad wasn’t white? Is this a message about how regional human rights abuses affect everyone in the world, or is it just taken out of ethnic context for shock value?
Regardless, it’s a major human rights issue that has the world’s attention.
More about the campaign (in German only) here.
And a lengthy interview with Waris Dirie here.