As if there isn't enough stupidity floating around these days (McCain on Barack's "terrorist" ties yesterday?), I was flipping through the September Better Homes and Gardens my mom checked out from the library this afternoon, and came across a DuPont Countertops ad with this picture--
and this caption, with several countertop options pictured under it--
Who Says You Can't Lust After Colors?
I'm not even gonna pretend like the advertising industry is a bastion of diversity, but when diversity is represented, and that diversity is appropriated to sell consumer goods, it defies the point of a representative market, and becomes just plain offensive.
In this ad, a woman of color looks seductively at the camera, with about three inches of the ad actually showing the countertop. The language of the blurb below uses words like, "touch you," "move you," "focus on more exciting things," and "be seduced." Words like these used in conjunction with this image portrays this woman's ethnicity as sexy-- and that is the selling point. When ads exoticize women of color for marketing, they play into the stereotype of these women being sex objects, of being wild and uninhibited, ideas that come from outdated colonial, imperial, and master/slave mindsets where non-white people are seen as an "other," and women in these situations are especially targeted be seen as lesser than to be seen as lesser than.
If this ad bothers you as much as it does me, write, call, or email DuPont at: