Racism In Advertising Essay

Racism In Advertising Essay-24
You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.Recently, while I was scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon one of Neutrogena’s recent advertisements for a deep cleanser.In this present beauty moment, the South Korean industry is heralded as the future of cosmetics.

You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.Recently, while I was scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon one of Neutrogena’s recent advertisements for a deep cleanser.In this present beauty moment, the South Korean industry is heralded as the future of cosmetics.

The concept of skin purity has been fraught and painful for a long time because of its roots in white supremacy.

Blanqueamiento (or branqueamento in Portuguese), which means “whitening,” was the name of both official and unofficial policy in a number of Latin American countries, including Brazil and Cuba, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There seems to be a clear distinction between the practice of someone desiring a lighter complexion and using skin bleaching products and someone having an otherwise “healthy” relationship to their coloring.

But there is unspoken messaging in the images we’re bombarded with that seem to elevate colonial and white-aspiring beauty standards: the actual process of whitening.

It owns Pond’s, Fair & Lovely (a product popular in Indian and Southeast Asian cosmetic markets), and the Filipino product Block & White, as well as the range of Vaseline and Dove’s whitening products.

And beyond these familiar images exists whitening as deliberate state policy.

This state-sponsored policy was a solution to the “Negro problem,” or the large Black/African-descendant populations in many Latin American states resulting from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Biologically, the whitening process was enacted through darker-skinned people marrying lighter-skinned people to produce lighter-skinned offspring, and the importance of whitening was messaged through social discourses and government policy.

In fact, the German skin care brand Nivea, which has come under fire for its own racist advertising and whose executive board cooperated with the Nazi regime during World War II, derives its brand name from the Latin word niveus meaning “snow white.” Whether snow whiteness alludes to the color of the creams or the color of the brand’s ideal consumer is more ambiguous, though the “white is purity” language within a yanked 2017 advertisement (with yet another apology for accidental racism) crystallized the potential meaning.

The language of the Neutrogena advertisement becomes particularly alarming in a historical context in which “cleanse” and “purify” connote mass murder, involuntary sterilization, and colonial politics where human worth is assessed based on color and ethnic identity.

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