Week 8 – Aesthetic or Anaesthetic?

Since my work is related to cultural identity, I was trying to find adverts that touches the theme. Here is an advert from a dental clinic in 2018:

5af4e9fb2000004200b91211.jpg

They are using costumes representing three different cultures and it describes the “Smiles” to unite them all. What they have done is described as cultural appropriation, and it is representing stereotypes: Scottish, Japanese and Native American.

Needless to say, this advert is disrespectful and it shows no understanding of the cultures. The dental clinic later apologized and admitted the mistake. But the question is, why this group of professionals, in 2018, did not see it as disrespectful in first place? It is probably because these stereotypes are repeated over and over, therefore it becomes “normal”.

Referencing the same subject, the next campaign is fighting against stereotyping during Halloween time in the United States:

Here the advert tries to raise awareness among young people that dressing up as another culture is reinforcing the stereotype, and it is offensive. The description makes clear of the subject and leaves no questions on the aims of the campaign. The media has its job on creating these stereotypes, therefore it needs to also to work raising awareness on the topic.

References:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/dentists-apologize-for-whitening-ad_us_5af4db69e4b032b10bf8f681?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJ3HCLtEQZp0WXYMMC0yu4O-LQkMGDqo5k1mogB134BRW1Zcknwn25MC3kMLMFyeCS4obVu7XmDqdXgGuJ5cE3E0CoK1j38psiw62Wnl0mDdAEkzAWlNctRyU43BqQJ1BzfzoCX3jK9Crxii1bjsaoZm_HqB9WOxxyHSmeAMoRod

https://bust.com/general/8749-were-a-culture-not-a-costume-campaign-reminds-us-dont-be-racist-on-halloween.html

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