Cultural Jam Assignment

Original Ad

The above advertisement is for POND’s, a skin care company founded in America. POND’s white beauty facewash was designed to lighten skin tone and “remove impurities” (POND’s).  With the words “Dark Out, White In” across the top of the advertisement,  it conveys an underlying message of white supremacy. The message that making your skin whiter will increase your value, wrongfully enforces people to believe that they should change their skin in order to appear more white. The message sent to consumers with dark skin, is that their natural skin colour is undesirable and should be ‘washed away’ as it is considered to not add value. Not only do the words of the advertisement send an offensive message to people of colour, the meter measuring face value further emphasises the message that white skin is more valuable and desirable. By only displaying a white women in this ad, the message to consumers is that they should not embrace their own skin and instead conform to POND’s idea of beauty standards.

I view this advertisement as extremely racist, hurtful, and insensitive towards people of colour. The fact that this product and advertisement did not receive extreme backlash is horrifying and disturbing. Due to the limited negative media attention, it proves that an ad like this is not uncommon and is accepted by consumers. As a society, we must stand up against advertisements that further marginalise groups and instead focus on not forgetting the disturbing history of suppression people of colour have faced and failing to recognize the racism in these types of ads. These messages are viewed by young people who are extremely impressionable and influenced by the media, as a society we are failing to correct the past inequality people of colour have had to face for far too long if we let ads of this nature continue to exist.

Through my jammed ad, I will aim to eliminate the message of white supremacy and racism, by focusing on embracing diversity and one’s natural beauty.

Jammed Ad

My jammed ad, is meant to show that we can no longer accept that white equals beautiful and instead promote everyone is beautiful how they were born no matter their skin colour. I wanted to highlight the words “White Out, Everyone In.” to emphasise that POND’s made a horrible mistake in their advertisement and the product they sell because they are making a large percentage of people feel less than due to their skin tone.

By rectifying and correcting the previous message, it highlights that the media should no longer be able to use outdated and degrading practices to sell a product.  The words “embrace your natural beauty” is meant to highlight the message that your value is not tied to your skin colour but more to embracing who you are. Consumers should never feel that it is necessary to lighten one’s skin colour to increase your value. I removed the picture of the singular white women and replaced it with a diverse image. I wanted to ensure that the first person displayed in the ad was a women of colour, in order to not allow the message to be viewed as, white women come first and therefore provide the most value. The women are also equally featured so there is not any other judgements that can occur.

My goal of changing this ad was to highlight the wrong doings of the original ad through the words I used and show how it could be challenged and improved using the image. I wanted to point out the polarizing message beauty ad campaigns have presented in the past and why we as consumers must ensure that we do not fail to ignore racism that may be present in these advertisements. It is imperative that we continue to fight for equality for people of colour, and encourage everyone to accept their own beauty by ensuring we do not promote the message that people must be of a certain skin tone to feel beautiful or of value.