Why you should care about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beauty campaign

A few days ago stories about the British beauty brand Boots choosing author, feminist and fashionasita Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  as their new covergirl hit the web. The campaign launched last Friday and according to Huffington Post UK it’s going to include a number of print and digital components as well as some television ads.

While glossy advertisements with Adichie’s beautiful smile are nice to look at, the campaign is so much more than that.



Elle writer, Chaedria Labouvier, recently wrote a piece about the new Boot’s campaign saying, “Adichie’s new gig is a statement that real women, serious women—the kind who write critically acclaimed novels and give TED Talks with outsize effects on politics and pop culture—also care about beauty and fashion.”

Labouvier goes on to say that, “it’s empowering to see Adichie dismantle the double standards that deny the complexity (which is to say, the humanity) of womanhood.”

New York Magazine, sourcing from, Vogue U.K. wrote that Adichie’s love for “girly things” isn’t new and shouldn’t be exclusively enjoyed by one type of woman. “Of the campaign, Adichie said, ‘I think much of beauty advertising relies on a false premise — that women need to be treated in an infantile way, given a ‘fantasy’ to aspire to … Real women are already inspired by other real women, so perhaps beauty advertising needs to get on board.’

We don’t need history to tell us that beauty is complicated. Just a quick Googling of beauty, fashion or just about any other type of advertisement shows that advertisers must think everyone in the world is white, thin and young.

So as Labouvier explains, “it’s political that one of the biggest British brands has tapped a dark-skinned Black woman writer who writes about feminism, colonialism, and Nigeria to represent them.”

Feels like a breath of fresh air to us.

In her essay We Should All Be Feminists, Adichie writes, “I like politics and history and am happiest when having a good argument about ideas. I am girly. I am happily girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks…. I wear them because I like them and because I feel good in them.”

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