There has been a lot of hysteria online following a 15-second Black History Month Target commercial starring Black female entrepreneur Beatrice Dixon.
Dixon is the founder of the wildly popular plant-based feminine care line Honey Pot. In the clip, Dixon proudly advertises her intentions to help other black female entrepreneurs, who, in today’s society, are exempt from a lot of funding opportunities.
“The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next Black girl that comes up with a great idea, she can have a better opportunity,” Dixon is heard stating in the commercial, which was filmed as part of Target’s “Founders We Believe In” series.
Dixon’s comments didn’t go over well with some white women, who voiced their feelings on Honey Pot’s Trust Pilot page with negative reviews.
“Why specify Black?” one white reviewer questioned on Trust Pilot, while another writes, “I would have considered buying from this company if it hadn’t been for the racist commercial.”
“I can’t support a company in good faith that is openly racist about their customers,” another adds. “Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company,” another review said.
GUESS WHAT WHITE WOMEN… THIS WASN’T A RACIST STATEMENT. The black woman is the most disrespected, unprotected, and neglected person(s) in America. Is now a crime to lend support to your people? Especially the ones with the least opportunities. According to Project Diane (a biennial demographic study about the state of Black Women Founders), only a piddling .0006 percent of $424.7 billion in total tech venture capital given out since 2009 have gone to Black women, who happen to be the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs. According to another analysis, 77% of venture-backed founders are white and 90% of them are men.
Dixon also spoke to ESSENCE about the accusations that she might be racist for specifying Black women in the ad. She maintains that her products are for all women as marketed, but while celebrating black history month, she emphasized Black women.
“I wasn’t necessarily blindsided [by the negative reactions], but I also didn’t have an expectation,” an unbothered Dixon stated. “This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month. They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it. I know that there’s a huge disparity when you look at the funding of businesses. I’m always going to be a proponent of us doing what we have to do so this isn’t even a conversation. The only thing we as Black women business owners can do is make really successful businesses.”
“Richelieu Dennis and New Voices Fund have increased the number that Project Diane reports on. But even if only 100 Black women have raised over a million dollars in venture capital funding, that’s still a ridiculous number when you look at all the venture capital dollars that are out there,” says Dixon. “If I had a chance to say [that statement] again, I’d still say it again. Until the disparity isn’t a disparity, it has to be talked about. I don’t necessarily expect the people making the [negative] comments to know that.”
Despite those white women who are not following the facts and oppression of Black women or overlooking that it’s OK to celebrate your own, Dixon insists that her goal was to inspire.
“That comment wasn’t about us being a Black-owned business and only selling to Black customers. I think we’re human and race shouldn’t even be a conversation, but it is because of the society we live in. We understand the responsibility as a Black-owned business that we have to be successful because if we’re not, we’re not doing anything for the culture to move it forward so that [race] isn’t a topic.”
“I said nothing about our product being only for black girls,” she added, citing the company’s tagline, which says it is “made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas.”
Honey Pot will be alright though, thanks to its black and white women supporters, who made it there duty to counter the negative reviews and tweets with positive ones. Customers are celebrating Honey Pot far and wide, vowing to buy even more of their products, and flood TrustPilot with five-star reviews. “I have a lot of gratitude for that,” Dixon said humbly.
Dixon, who launched the plant-based feminine hygiene line in 2014, said that sales across the company’s retailers have jumped 20% to 30% since the backlash began over the Target commercial that was released Feb. 4. Dixon says more products are soon to roll out, including a lavender vulva cream, boric acid and herb suppositories, menstrual cups and a panty spray.
A Target spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that they were aware of “some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story.”
“Target has a longstanding commitment to empowering and investing in diverse suppliers that create a broad variety of products for our guests,” the statement said. “We’re proud to work with Bea Dixon and The Honey Pot team to highlight Bea’s journey to build her brand and bring her products to Target.”
Several women on Twitter began sharing screenshots of the negative reviews in an attempt to urge others to rate the company highly and buy its products.
Honey Pot, a black woman owned natural hair care line that’s sold in Target, had a commercial where they said they want to empower black girls.
Now white women are mad and have been leaving them a low rating.
Please give them 5 stars https://t.co/FABhpr4ZkH
— I’m 10 Years Older Than Mark (@eleven8) March 2, 2020
So white people are upset because Honey Pot, a black owned company is advertising black products to black people? The only time y’all cry about inclusiveness is when something isn’t meant for you pic.twitter.com/81NPw3ytqe
— ˗ˏˋ𝑪𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒔𝒆𝒂ˊˎ˗ 🕊 (@MOODIIBUNNII) March 2, 2020
i saw "honey pot" trending and thought it was about infosec. turns out it's just about white women being mad about a commercial wherein a black woman says she want's to blaze trails for black girls?
here's the commercial, if want to join me in my "are y'all fucking serious rn?" pic.twitter.com/pksQNbsjL1
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) March 2, 2020
I didn't know what @thehoneypotcomp was until today. This is the greatest thing ever!!!! Already placed my first order, hoping to hit @Target this weekend to check out the sold out items 💗u guys!!! pic.twitter.com/0zHAhoxzmo
— Jenn (@GinevraGilmet) March 2, 2020
I support @thehoneypotcomp please go leave a positive review on truepilot because white women are leaving nasty reviews about it being racist based off the commercial and have NEVER used the products! pic.twitter.com/QhMtFfiaHq
— T A N A 🗡 (@KitanaMarley) March 2, 2020
— Multicultural Mama (@mixedupclothing) March 2, 2020
— Megan Christine (@signedbyMC) March 2, 2020
What!! That is insane. The beauty about @thehoneypotcomp is that they are already inclusive! I’ve been using their products for the past few years and damn are their products amazing. Wouldn’t use anything else.
— s (@pylviasath) March 2, 2020
@thehoneypotcomp , I support you, I hear you, and please let me and others like me know if there's anything we can do besides trying to teach our people some manners. Obviously besides buying your products at @Target 🙂
— Allie Lawler (@allawler) March 2, 2020