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Sunday, June 28, 2015

E-RACE-SURE and STEREOTYPING TARGET'S TWO APPROACHES TO ADVERTISING

One of these things is not like the other And one of these things is not like the other in more ways than one Four of these thing are very, very much like the other. TARGET STORE ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES GET IT RACIALLY WRONG - AGAIN .
How is is possible to "randomly" choose four white models all near the "normal" standard of beauty size-wise then decide to make African American the plus sized model? And not only did Target make the African American model the plus sized model, they went out of their way to choose a plus sized model that doesn't look like a model at all. In other words, all the right junk is not in all the right places. The African American model also looks to be half a head taller. And that head is positioned so as to make her look like she's some distance away from the group. And was she placed directly next to the bony thin white model to make her look --dare I say it-- as monstrous as possible?
EXHIBIT A: Sports Illustrated Plus Sized Model - Ashley Graham
White thin models are always photoshopped to perfection. Always. So why does the African American model have that bulge there at the top of her thighs? Why haven't African American's bulges, cellulite, and skin tone been smoothed out like it has for this white plus sized model in Exhibit A? How is it Sports Illustrated went out and found the most attractive white woman they could find when looking for a plus sized model but Target didn't? Could it be because the plus sized model Target went looking for was black - so who cares? Target doesn't seem like they made the slightest effort to make the African American model attractive. Could it be that white advertising executives at Target don't think attractive African American women exist?
As far as plus sized African American beauty goes, Serena Williams is very, very likely a plus sized as big as her muscles are. But if a Serena Williams body is too hard to find, then a Serena body minus 15 to 20 pounds of muscle which is probably still plus sized AND sexy. Beyonce's body while NOT plus sized in size, she probably still fits into the plus sized category shape-wise at least half the time (using rail thin, white standards that magazines use) And Beyonce's beautiful body 15 to 20 pounds ago would fit into the plus sized category for sure (size 8 or size 10 was plus sized half a minute ago as far as models go) The sexy plus sized body exists, and it exists in people of color too.
Exhibit B: Plus Sized Model: Tocarra Jones 
 

But why go the "Glee" route to diversity in the first place? Why decide to have all the diversity in one place?  Why is it white, large-and-in-charge have to have standard white female beauty everywhere and put the diversity all in once place? Actually, this Target ad is like "Glee" on steroids. If Glee had had a single character that was black, female, plus sized, and in a wheel chair singing with a speech disorder - while having all the rest of the huge ensemble cast be the white, thin, and empty-eyed as usual - that would be the "Glee" representation of this Target Store advertisement. What is it that the advertisement exec's at Target and the producers of "Glee" are having a hard time with? Why couldn't one of the four white models be the plus sized model? How do we not take this as a visual joke? Or is it that white advertisers at Target just go looking for the Aunt Jemima motherly shape because mammy is just so familiar and likable? By the way, more than one person has suggested that this is what white people found so comforting about Oprah. Regardless of her business acumen, looks count on television. And Oprah's look was mammy familiar.

This is not Target's first time out of the racial box. Little black actress Quvenzhane Wallis was playing "Annie' at the movies not long ago. And instead of putting up adverts with the actress all over the store to push an "Annie" clothing line or other "Annie" crap (lunch boxes, backpacks - I don't know) they used a little white girl. And I don't recall seeing a little white actress replaced in this way...um...ever? 
And then Target refused to apologize to Wallis for replacing her in ads with a white model (read more: http://urbanintellectuals.com/2014/12/31/target-will-not-apologize-to-quvenzhane-wallis-for-removing-her-from-in-store-ads/)

Clearly the first place that Target needs to add some diversity is within their Executive Staff. And if their executive staff already has some diversity, then the people they already have need to be replaced with new people with backbones. Apparently the Huffington Post could use a little more diversity as well . Read the original story here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/12/target-swimsuit-ad-body-positive_n_7571998.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063