I came across this photo advertisement today.
When I first saw this photo, I literally said "What the HELL is that?" out loud.
This semester, I'm taking a class called "Representing Race". I'm not going to explain in full detail what this class is about, but you can pick it up just from the title. It's about racism. Specifically, white vs. black racism. No sugarcoated names. That's just what it is.
The photo you see above is an advertisement for Sony's new "Playstation Portable White" device. Why they EVER came up with this idea for an ad, I will never know. Why they actually used the idea? I'll never know that either. All I know is that whomever decided this was a good idea was obviously dead wrong.
In the photo, you see a white woman and a black woman (in my class, everyone was debating whether the black woman is actually a woman or if it was a man. I will explain why they even questioned it in a minute). The white woman is grabbing the black woman by the chin, and seems to be threatening her just with a look. The black woman looks terrified. The white woman is also seen wearing provocative clothing, and has her hair and make-up looking fierce. You can also completely see her. The black woman is overshadowed by the white woman's "aura" of whiteness. Quite literally, you can see that the white in the picture is covering much of the black woman. This is why my class questioned if the black person was a woman or a man. You can barely see them. My professor did a bit of research, and found out that the person is in fact a woman. But how would anyone know? This is also completely ignoring gender identity and assuming that both people are both either women or men, but that's an argument for a different day.
What seemed to pierce me in the heart was that this photo is such a primary example of how racism still exists. Someone says to you "racism doesn't exist anymore"? They are full of crap, to be blunt. Simply, this advertising image is appalling. I don't understand how anyone could think this is okay. It shows that white people are stronger and more superior to black people. They didn't need this much advertising to showcase a new item. There are so many things the company could have done to promote the new PSP, that didn't involve racism and discrimination.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This one says it all, and the connotation is disgusting. As soon as I saw it, I was infuriated, and I felt the need to write about it. This might just seem like a huge rant, which it is. However, we need to be careful with what we advertise and how we advertise it. On the literal level, this is just something being stronger than something else. On a deeper level, this is white supremacy at its finest. This is what the "flaming liberals" of the internet complain about. It's not propaganda that makes our opinions, it's straight facts. This picture is teeming with racism; that's a fact. Sure, racism doesn't lie in EVERYTHING, but people need to realize that it exists much more abundantly than we think.