Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ads Representing Truth?

Advertisements target America's youth day in and day out. Using celebrity spokespeople has been known to create successful ads. So when Beyonce Knowles, an incredibly respected musician and role model to many across America, joined L'Oreal for their highlight advertisement, fans and targeted audiences were shocked to see her skin appeared to be a lighter tone than what she appears to have in reality.
The advertisements appears to highlight not only Beyonce's hair, but her skin as well. The tones in her skin look enhanced to a lighter and whiter for that matter tone. This ad received a ton of media attention related it back to the OJ Simpson cover on Time Magazine in 1994, giving him a darker skin tone than he actually had. As chapter one in "Practices of Looking" indicates "critics chargers that Time was following the historical convention of using darker skin tones to connote evil and to imply guilt," (Sturken, Cartwright, pg. 25). This photograph/advertisement of Beyonce caused similar reactions stirring the media to accuse L'Oreal of using in my opinion, racial marketing. Though these accusations were put forward, L'Oreal claimed to have taken the photo honestly without any enhancements or photoshop use. Beyonce also had no comment to the image or controversy surrounding it.
This is a great example of what Sturken and Cartwright refer to in the book that "images can change dramatically when those images change social contexts," (Sturken, Cartwright, pg. 26). We have to be careful with the images we see, we take and how we utilize them in our world. With the blending of cultures and peoples, we have to have an open mind and respect for those around us as well as an honest observance of how the world reacts to each other. Now you tell me, does she look "whiter" to you?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I agree, she is definitely a lot whiter in this picture. I think it is so strange how being darker has a negative connotation. It is amazing that 14 years after the O.J Simpson case, the same skin lightening tactic is being used today. This whole controversy over skin color reminds me of the "white Obama and black McCain" poster that appeared during the election. Link of it is here:
    Shouldn't skin color not be an issue anymore?