BY J E SOLOMON
Naomi Campbell, the supermodel, is once again in the news over an issue that, perhaps unknown to her, may hurt her reputation more than boost it.
Naomi is outraged over an advert by Cadbury that used the name “Naomi” in an advertisement for one of their products, the DAIRY MILK Bliss. The advert is reproduced below.
Miss Campbell reportedly told the UK newspaper, Independent, “I am shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful.”
According to the report, her mother is equally annoyed over the advert. She was quoted as saying she is “deeply upset by this racist advert. Do these people think they can insult black people and we just take it?”
Mr. Simon Woolley, a spokesman for Operation Black Vote, a campaign group based in Europe, is courting Black activists Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson to mobilize the Afro-American population to boycott products of the U.S. company Kraft, which owns Cadbury.
Well, some black folks don’t find anything insulting and hurtful at all about the advert. To them it is more of a pride that, of all the many popular celebrity names around, Cadbury should find it irresistible to use a name that is associated with a Black supermodel.
For Naomi and all who think like her, maybe they need to realize that it is not so much what is said to a person that causes the hurt feelings. Rather it is how a person receives or perceives what is said that actually brings out any hurt feelings. If Naomi had perceived the advert as interesting and funny, she would be enjoying the fun of it all and not be fuming.
In fact, some of Naomi Campbell’s fans are not happy over her reaction to the advert and are asking, “What has race got to do with the ad?” Someone even asked if Naomi’s parents were the originators of the name Naomi. This is the person’s response, “Did her parents invent that name? Did they not borrow the name from the Holy Bible? And what’s the big deal if Cadbury also borrows the same name?”
Reading through internet comments from across the world, the impression I gather is that more people are resentful of Naomi’s reaction than she probably imagined. And it should not be a surprise if the Dairy Milk Bliss chocolate becomes the winner, finding more patrons and hitting high figures in sales, especially outside of the United States.
Humanity today is becoming more and more disinterested in the pettiness and self-aggrandizement of people who think they can draw the whole world along with them in their narrow-minded quest for recognition and adoration.
The world has not forgotten so soon that the supermodel threw a cell phone at her maid in anger and had to do community service for that unfortunate show of outrage.
Naomi Campbell has earned a reputation for being litigious. And now many people are interpreting her alleged hurt feelings over the advert as an opportunity to get some easy money. If she insists on waging a legal war over this issue, the likely result will be damage to her own self in the eyes of the world instead of sympathy.