Note from BW of Brazil: Sometimes things in a society becomes such a normalized part of life that people don’t even notice its existence. This is often the case when one speaks on the issue of racism. Often times when the topic comes up, people who are part of the group that is considered the dominant one of which the rest of society is measured against will deny its very existence. “We are all equal”, they would have us believe. “Stop playing the role of the victim”, others will say. But sometimes all one need do is to step back, take a look at the subtle images that are often quite blatant and ask themselves again if we are all (treated) equal.
A quick, relatively simple test anyone can do is just to walk around and notice the various advertisements in a given neighborhood, city, state or country. Take note of the race and gender of the people focused upon in the ads and analyse the subtle and obvious messages. Do you happen to notice that persons with a certain skin color are almost always represented in situations of high status, a good life, wealth, happiness, beauty and intelligence? Do you also notice that certain persons of another skin color are usually portrayed in a lower status, featured in advertisements in which they represent unfortunate life situations, occupations of low prestige and/or in need of help? If you’ve actually noted these ads but never thought about the association between color and social position, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve probably naturalized the association.
Of course, we do have situations in which one finds representatives of each group outside of the position normally associated with them, but usually the standard remains the same contributing to typical images, stigmas and stereotypes of the “natural” social positions of members of each group. When we speak in terms of race and ‘place’ in the Brazilian scenario, ideas connected to blackness and whiteness are pretty obvious as we have seen in numerous past examples and advertising is yet another genre in which we can clearly see this dynamic play out. Don’t think it’s true? Well, before you look at the advertisements below, take a look at typical images used to sell consumer goods in these previous posts and then tell us what conclusion you come to!
The piece below comes courtesy of the Todos Negros do Mundo website that analyzed a a recent statement issued by a popular shoe company as to why the black model in one of their commercials disappeared after being initially featured for a brief second. The rest of the commercial featured all white women happily dancing a choreographed piece showcasing the shoe’s brand. Responding to the inquiry, the company denied an sort of racist exclusion and instead explained the model’s disappearance as a “technical problem in the direction of the script”. Apparently, most advertisers in Brazil also seem to have regular ‘technical problems’ in their choices as well!
See a series of advertisement fotos in which blacks “starred” or were represented
This publication contains moderate doses of irony.
Based on the explanation of a “technical problem in the direction of the script” by the Calçados Piccadilly (Piccadilly Shoes), we decided to show in a series of photos that they’re right, mistakes happen. It’s been a part of our lives for a long time.
This week is the same for the party for the black community in Brazil. Today (posted May 13th), the day that we commemorate the abolition of slavery and after that, in three days, we will celebrate dia do gari (street sweeper’s day). Look at such beauty !!
In addition, we got into a virtual tiff with the Piccadilly company, a manufacturer of women’s shoes and as always we received information that it is all a misunderstanding or technical error that will be repaired.
So, in celebration of the day of the “abolition of slavery,” street sweeper’s day and clarification from Piccadilly, we decided to show in a series of photos, some examples of “technical problem in the direction of the script” that have happened. Only a few of the thousands that don’t fit on this humble page.
Long live street sweeper’s day and the International Day of the technical problem in the direction of scripts!!!
Source: Todos Negros do Mundo
In the time that I have been in Brazil, I have observed that white people are often put in positions of authority or are the owners of businesses such as advertising agencies. At the same time, just in interacting with them, I can see that they are often COMPLETELY unconscious about almost everything that is happening around them! If you try to talk to them about…well…ANYTHING…you will find that the majority have no thoughts at all about anything in the world, except for Disney World, Miami, how they have a cousin living in Ireland, or how opressed they feel if they have to go to work during a public holiday or pay a flanelinha R$ 5,00 to park their SUVs.. Most of them are so segregated that they only have,like,3 images of Black people (and they are the images that are shown in this article). They are also generally completely lacking in creativity or imagination. Most have never even interacted at great length with a Black person! I am not at all surprised that all these dumb little sh*ts can only imagine Black people as maids, hookers, and street cleaners. As dumb as they have shown themselves to be, I can see that they will need a lot of psuhback to move past a lot of their internal biases. However, I have been happy to see the rising tide of excellence in Black Brazilians as they flex their collective muscle and raise their voices as a collective. I hope they can see that theirs is the voice that must be listened to over all others, as they are the majority of the country! They must not be stopped by these dimwitted advertisers and continue to move forward toward progress.
I’M NOT GOING TO POST NO MORE THREADS SORRY REMEMBER I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE I HAVE ALLLOT OF BLACK FRIENDS IM EVEN AN ACTIVE SUPPORTER OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MARCH IN ATLANTA GEORGIA
I WONT POST ANYMORE I PROMISE REMEMBER I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE AND I’M NOT A WHITE SUPREMACIST BRAZIL NEEDS TO HAVE MORE DIVERISITY THATS MY OPINION
I SUPPORT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER IN ATLANTA GEORGIA AND THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL POST I WONT POST NO MORE
The racism in Brazil is BLATANT. White Brazilians don’t even try to hide how racist they are. This is why i didn’t buy Picadilly’s BS excuse for not showing the Black actress for more than a second. Black Brazilians don’t be fooled. White Brazilians are VERY consciously aware of their racist actions but like to play dumb and deny being racist when they are called out for it. It’s pathetic of them.
I agree there is a problem here, but I honestly do not like putting maids and social marginals in the same boat. I understand nobody grows up dreaming of being a maid but many black women still have this profession and we need to be careful not to diminish their hard work. What’s important is that most of the time these hard working people are doing everything in their power so that their sons and daughters go to the university and have a chance of getting a better job. But it’s n evil elitism to talk about these professions as if they were not honourable. Of course we need to promote black imagine as doctors, scientists, lawyers, etc – I am not at all saying this is not important, but this must be done without bad mouthing less glamorous professions and with a lot of care.
I totally agree with you.Just because being a maid o street sweeper isn’t ideal, it doesn’t mean any less important than other jobs. Plus realistically, you do see black people in these position in real life so the advertisers are not presenting it out ignorants o racism, but reality. And I’m kinda offended because my grandmother was a maid then became a governess who married a baker (my grandfather) and they live a very nice life and provided their children a nice stable life and sending them off to good schools to have good careers. YES! I also agreed that they need to promote images of black people as doctors, lawyers, etc. without bad mouthing the others.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that if there were a wider range of representations of Afrobrazilians the celebration of municipal street sweepers and janitors would not be such an issue. But in the absence of a wider range of people, and the continued depiction of stereotypical imagery, there’s a huge problem and it does affect the psyches of Brazil’s young people, just as the narrow range of representations of African Americans has affected black people in the US. Things are improving, but it’s an ongoing battle.