Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Everyday Racism: Everyday Advertising

Laurie says:

These three ads got me thinking about the way people often deny the reality of racism and prejudice when we experience it in advertising. It seems to me that we experience advertising as part of our everyday world, rather than our more public world permeated with politics, rationales of war, catastrophes, celebrities etc. etc

I’ve frequently heard denials of racism and fat phobia and sexism in ads where it’s painfully obvious, made most often by people whose privilege insulated them from the issues.  I think it happens because the denial supports our private comfortable world, and to recognize the way these ads confirm and contribute to dangerous beliefs would mean that your everyday world is neither safe nor comfortable. And we would have to confront our own internalized dangerous beliefs.

I love feministe‘s comment about this Dove ad.  Start out as a not-skinny black lady, morph into a racially ambiguous brunette, end up a thin blonde! This body wash is magic.

..

 

Naomi Campbell, the black super model, called Cadbury’s out on the racism in this ad.  They apologized. There are anti-racism laws in England.

 

To quote Renee Martin in Womanist Musings, recently published in the Scavenger:  to make its point, the advertisement is absolutely dependent upon fat hatred. This ad (the one below is the last of a progression of images) won a Clio (the major US advertising awards).

 

One Response to “Everyday Racism: Everyday Advertising”

  1. Lizzy L Says:

    This was interesting. My reaction to the first ad was, “They aren’t really suggesting that, are they? Can’t be! Ugh.” I was angry and repulsed. I didn’t “get” the second ad, but that’s because I had no idea who “Naomi” is. I found the third ad infuriating.

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