Naomi Campbell has taken offence at an advertisement for a chocolate bar (called Bliss) featuring the words “”Move over Naomi – there is a new diva in town.” She has apparently decided the following:
- She really is the only Diva in (any) town, therefore the reference is to her and not any other Naomi
- That she is therefore being compared to a chocolate bar, and therefore
- That the ad is racist.
Now Ms Campbell had a similar problem in 2002 when she objected to being described as a “chocolate soldier” (i.e. some one who collapses under pressure). This may in fact have been an inaccurate characterization of Ms Campbell. A number of cases have shown that she is more likely to lash out under pressure than collapse. However, the inaccurate nature of the characterization, hardly made it racist.
Now, there are signs that Cadbury has sailed close to the wind on the use of racial stereotypes, if one looks at their past record of advertisements. Although in fairness to them, their usage has been humorous, to the point of parody. But in any case, it is hard to feel any sympathy for Ms Campbell. For she acts like a Prima Donna. But she doesn’t have a monopoly on such behaviour and her actions hardly make her a role model – any more than Cheryl Cole’s violent episode in a nightclub made her a role model. (She was Cheryl Tweedy in those days – and her antics were heralded by the brilliant tabloid headline “Girl’s a Lout.”)
It’s a thin line between “Diva and “Ladette” Naomi – even if one is from St Reatham.