L’Oreal, Munroe Bergdorf & Diversity: A Conversation

This month L’Oreal have been in the headlines quiiiite a bit. And not really in the all publicity is good publicity kind of way.

The reason for the storm is the firing of Munroe Bergdorf, a black, transgender model who was part of their recently launched ‘True Match’ diversity campaign. When Munroe took to her private Facebook to express her feelings over the horrific situation occurring in Charlottesville she was branded “anti-white” and subsequently let go for the comments she made.

She wrote: ““Honestly, I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you built the blueprint for this shit. Come see me when you realise racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege. Once white people begin to admit their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth … then we can talk.”

And many are livid at L’Oreal’s decision. As a writer for The Independent put it: “They wanted Munroe’s transness, her blackness, her womanhood and all of the glory and the capital gain of her ‘diversity’ with none of the corollary activism and resistance that comes with her identity.”

l'oreal Shot 2017-09-11 at 17.46.14

Having very recently finished Renni Eddo-Lodge’s ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race,’ I think I was a lot more able to understand the nuances and the reality behind what Munroe said, and what she meant, than if I had not read the book. Thing is, to suggest that all white people, (and all people in general regardless of gender or creed), internalise the oppressive rhetoric and paradigms that dominate our society should be taken as a given.

Even Munroe’s (white) mother got pissed off, as Munroe told The Guardian: “I’m half-white. My mum thought I was lumping her in with everyone, but this isn’t about individuals. To understand my point, you have to take yourself out of the conversation – it’s not about you – and truly think about society, structurally, economically, as a whole.” And I guess that’s part of the trouble. That’s not always so easy to do.

What really stuck with me is that it had taken Renni a whole entire book to adequately express what Munroe had tried to say in a couple of sentences on Facebook. The odds were always going to be against her in managing to properly do that, despite the fact that there is inherently and sadly an abundance of truth in what she meant. As a writer, I am well aware of the importance of HOW something is said in terms of getting the desired message across and that was a point I enjoyed debating when invited on to Millie Cotton and Sophie Milner’s new podcast ‘Keeping It Candid’ to discuss this subject.

l'oreal Shot 2017-09-11 at 17.44.36

We expressed our support for Munroe and debated whether social media is really the place for this sort of discussion as well as the importance of HOW something is said in terms of getting the desired response / point across. You can listen back to the episode here.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Follow me on Instagram @moorizZLA

  • Lisa Autumn
    Posted at 18:45h, 11 September Reply

    Absolutely loved this post girl.. I seriously didn’t know about this and just looked further into it.. thanks girl!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Courtney Hardy
    Posted at 01:37h, 12 September Reply

    This was a very powerful post. Keep spreading the word about racial discrimination, the more awareness, the more it will improve.
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  • Tina
    Posted at 07:15h, 12 September Reply

    This is so interesting! I actually didn’t hear about this. The events in Charlottesville was definitely disugsting, but yes I do agree that Munroe could’ve phrased those comments in a more effective way. It’s a tough situation and there will be strong proponents for each side.


  • Angel
    Posted at 12:41h, 12 September Reply

    racism and bigotry is never cool and I believe there are proper ways to express oneself without offending people as a whole. I do understand where she is coming from but the media and the general masses wont.

  • Rena
    Posted at 14:19h, 12 September Reply

    Wow, I see you had a good time!
    xx Rena

  • Konstantina Antoniadou
    Posted at 15:20h, 12 September Reply

    So many beautiful girls <3

  • Ashley
    Posted at 18:16h, 12 September Reply

    I appreciate Munroe speaking out- I think the only way anything is going to change is if we confront these tough issues head-on. And in the meantime, it’s going to be uncomfortable- but that’s change!

    Le Stylo Rouge
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  • Missy May
    Posted at 20:17h, 12 September Reply

    Racism of any form is definitely not good, but we can’t put everyone in one box. Not everyone is a racist. Such a shame!! These brands though! Some of them are just impossible!


  • yasmin
    Posted at 00:40h, 13 September Reply

    I love the quote in the Independent. Companies want to capitalize, but oftentimes not participate in the conversation because taking a position can be bad for their bottom line. I’m going to look into that book recommendation. Thanks!

    xx Yasmin
    yasmin recently posted…Greenhouse EffectMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    Posted at 18:47h, 13 September Reply

    Such a powerful post – something we need to talk about! Sharing such an important topic is so important! I think we all experienced racism in one form or another. Thank you for this powerful post!

    Happy Wednesday, babe!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  • Adi
    Posted at 01:29h, 14 September Reply

    Very interesting. It absolutely does comes down to how you say it. Venting your anger on facebook is not the way to go, you will get misunderstood.
    Adi xx

  • GOindiastore
    Posted at 08:49h, 14 September Reply

    Nice post!
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  • Shannon
    Posted at 09:03h, 14 September Reply

    Such an interesting read. I haven’t even heard about Loreal being in the headlines lately. Probably because I live under a rock. It’s such a shame that we’re at this point in society. You can’t ebbed voice your opinion anymore because every one has an opinion on every opinion out there. That was such a bad move for Loreal, both business wide & socially. Thanks for sharing!

    TFM Life & Style blog

  • Remi Sabbah
    Posted at 14:01h, 14 September Reply

    Such an enlightening and empowering article! It definitely raised awareness! Keep up the good work girl!
    New post on the blog: http://remisabbah.com/blog/
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  • Andreea Birsan
    Posted at 15:21h, 14 September Reply

    Such a powerful post! Wishing you a lovely day. x

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  • Dominique
    Posted at 16:40h, 14 September Reply

    This is such a complex and evocative issue which needs to be discussed, no matter how difficult it is. I commend anyone who steps out and speaks up no matter the cost. xx

    Dominique recently posted…LETS TALK ABOUT THE OUTNETMy Profile

  • Jessica
    Posted at 07:55h, 15 September Reply

    Love this kind of post dear. Really powerful, and inspiring.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  • Rina
    Posted at 20:51h, 15 September Reply

    Loving the retro Polaroid photo! Have a great start to your weekend!

    Rina Samantha

  • Tsukiakari
    Posted at 22:35h, 18 September Reply

    Great post!
    Can you follow me? I follow you 🙂

    Have a lovely day!

  • Funmi
    Posted at 01:55h, 20 September Reply

    This situation is quite an interesting one, and I’m glad you spoke up about it.
    Great post.

    Funmi xx
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