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In today's discussion about soap and commodity advertisement we only briefly talked about how much advertisement has changed up until today. Some examples discussed was how "race", in a sense, is still being advertised to promote certain groups like for different races, class or genders. Although we don't advertise base on "racism" anymore (rarely), I think more importantly today we are advertising based on a universal culture; tradition and or norms. Is there a commodity culture only within certain groups or is it known nationwide? Can it be both? As we also discussed in class, the way you dress, act, or talk can is also a way of a person to appear more 'white' middle-class. If you think about it, this is a universal culture because "whitening practice" can be seen throughout the world. For example, whitening creams are used to lighten your complexion to make you appear "more white" or think about colored contact lenses many minorities wear today. As McClintock states that "Soap offered the promise of spiritual salvation and regeneration through commodity consumption, a regime of domestic hygiene that could restore the threatened potency of the imperial body politic and the race" (210). It's not just about what you put in your body to "purify" your uncleanliness but also about what you put on to hide flaws, conceal or make less visible . So in similarity, the Victorian Era compared to today's hasn't change too much with advertisement. Sure it's not as racist as it is today but it still uses the 'whitening practice' tactic. On the other hand, advertisers are also advertising a 'camouflage' to hide our insecurities like the examples I mentioned above.

2 Comments

I agree that we are seeing shifts towards a more global culture, and while that can seen through less-racialized advertising and media and more multi cultural images in the media, we have a long way to go. I see this relative to the achievement gap in Minnesota alone. We have amongst the highest level's of academic achievement amongst k-12 students in the nation, yet our african american community ranks amongst the lowest.

I see your point, especially in regards to racism but today as a culture commodity. Frankly, I think it is ridiculous that there are still these divisions of race. I still have a tough time seeing some of those soap advertisements we saw in class as promoting "whiteness" because my viewpoint isn't that of what the majority's was in the 1900's. I think today it has changed in regards to soap advertisements for simply cleansing the face of blemishes. I'll be severely disappointed if this is indeed true.

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This page contains a single entry by vuexx252 published on February 20, 2013 11:36 PM.

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