By Iffah Fikzia
Black African-American still consider as
a inferior nation. Although, black community have been free from the period of
slavery, they are still face bad treatment, such as racism. This is can be
proven from the advertisement of “Dove Body Lotion” that the dark woman turn
into white woman after using this product. Therefore, the aim of this paper is
to to develop an understanding
or to provide knowledge regarding of the racism issue that still exist in
American society and the reason why racism is difficult to erase in America.
When analyzing this paper, the method of collecting data and analysis that the
author use are textual and contextual analysis. Meanwhile, the author use
sociological theory in order to create deep analysis about racism. As a result,
racism is still difficult to erase in America since the idea of black people as
an inferior nation have been growing over time as a belief of American history.
Keywords: Black people, White people, Racism,
Sociologica theory, Blackness.
Nowadays, the number of ads produced by various
trademarks displays the message that being white is better than being black.
From the product advertisement, take an example from beaty brands. Body lotion
shows that the transformation people is getting white, shining, and free from
black spots. Indeed, an advert does not express anything through the word, but
from the symbol of any advertisement, it
can change the people mind that the meaning of the beauty, good people, strong
people or anything which is related to something good are come from to the
white symbol. And sometimes the way they present the advertisements make a conclusion
that racism and discrimination to black people or African-America community
still exist in the environment of American society and other countries.
Since the appearance of racism in black community of
African-American that still endure eventhough that slavery America is
prohibited after the declaration of Human Right in 1948 black people in America
still get bad treatment such as, discrimination, racism, and segregation that
come from white people. Therefeore, I want to discuss this issue from one of
the advertisements “Dove Body Lotion” that make assumption about being a black
is not good enough than being a white. The aim to analyze this topic is to to develop an understanding or to provide knowledge
regarding of the racism issue that still exist in American society and the
reason why racism is difficult to erase in America. At the same time, the
advantage of the study is theoretical advantage that is expected to enrich the
insight on racism issues that are still ingrained in the American community through
Lotion” that was posted on the US Facebook site on February 2017. The duration
of this video only about three seconds. Actually, in spite of
this advertisement has removed from the Dove official facebook site, it went viral on social media and youtube after Naomi
Leann Blake, an make up artist and model, posted them to her facebook page.
Thus, on this clip, this advert shows a black woman removing her brown shirt to
reveal a white woman that implying after using this body lotion product. It can
be clear that black woman turning into white woman and it seems more beautiful
skin than black woman.
Theory and Method
this paper, the method of collecting data and analysis that I use is textual
and contextual analysis. The definition of textual anaysis according to Frey’s
book in “An Introduction to Research Methods” (1999) states that the textual
analysis method is using to describe and interpret the characteristics of a
record or visual message and the purpose is to represent the content of the
messages. In close viewing, one of the element that I would like to discuss is
cinematic elements. After reading on Bordwell and Thompson’s book entitled
“Film Art an Introduction Eighth Edition” (2008:190) about cinematography that
one of cinematic elements, it can be concluded that the frame of positions,
called angle, and camera distance are some terms in cinematography. Angle is
divided into three general categories. They are the straight-on angle that is
the most common angel in order the viewer can see in equal with the object, the
high angle which the position is looking down on the action, and the last is
the low angle that looking up at the frame positions. Move to the definition of
camera distance according to “Film Art an Introduction Eighth Edition”
(2008:191) is the size framing images from movie maker. It can be divided into
seven shots. They are extreme long shot; the human figure is barely visible,
long shot; figures are more leading,but the background still dominates, medium
long shot when figures shots from about the knees up, medium shot frames the
human body from waist up, medium close-up that figures shot from the chest up,
close up that is showing only the head; hands; feet; or small object. And the
last is the extreme close-up which out a portion of the face or aggrandize an
textual method, I also look for the meaning of contextual method. According to
Hestetun in journal of American Studies in Scandinavia, volume 25, entitled
“Text, Contex, and Culture in Literary Studies” in 1993 states that the focus
of contextual is to get the social dimensions or issues as gender, race,
ethnicity, and class in relation to cultural product. Moreover, contextual try
to establish the relationship between individual text, a historical cultural
context, and system of power. They are tending to apply strategies od
ideological critique in order to examine the historical, social, cultural, and
political range of literature.
through the contextual method, the theory that I use is sociological in racism.
According to Clair and Denis in Scholar Harvard article “Sociology of Racism”
argue that it is the study of the relationship between racism, racial discrimination,
and racial inequality. Thus, in sociological theory, I also mention racism and blackness
concept that can be used to get more data analyze. According to the book “Introduction to Sociology” (2013) chapter 11 page 232 racism is a stronger type of prejudice that are used to
make a belief that one racial category is somehow superior or inferior to
others, and a set of practices used by a racial majority to damage a racial
minority. Blackness concept according to the
Hrabovsky’sarticle “The Concept Blackness in Theories of Race” (2003) states
that is concerning lower status for black skin. Therefore, with the textual and
contextual method, and using racism and colorism theory, it can be used as a
benchmark in analyzing the data.
Result and Discussion
discussing the video advertisement Dove body lotion using the method of textual
analysis with close viewing, the type of frame positions or angle on this video
advertisement is the straight-on angle.
Therefore, the camera angel is aligned
with the object in order the viewer can see in equal with the figure. Regarding
of camera distance, this advertisement can be categorized into medium shot
since the figure shots from the waist up.
next aspect that I will discuss is about why racism still exist in America
society in the context of sociology theory. Again, racism is the idea used to
make right the belief that one group is superior or inferior and better than
other races. When discussing about racism in America society, we need to
looking back into 17th century. As we know that racist began during the period
of slavery and according to the history slavery in America, slavery began
practiced in the 17th and 18th centuries, and slaves themselves helped build
the economic foundations of the new nation. Black people are believed to be
inferior nation and the idea of white people is superior and better than blacks
so that they were treated horribly and no one respect to them when being as
slave. Moreover, they worked all day, all times, and taking all of their
masters ask for. After that, in the 19th century,the end of slavery officially
abolished in the late of 1865 after the 13th amendment adopted.
at the time blacks officially free from slavery, still many whites, especially
South people, they feel unhappy when that people who they once enslaved are now
on an equal area with them as they held public office and pursued legislative
changes for equal with white people. Thus, they were again confronted with
discriminatory and racist behavior in varied kinds in the life aspects, for
instance “Jim Crow” laws. To make sure that blacks is still in the backside and
to keep separate them from whites, in the South Jim Craw laws were established
beginning in the late 19th century. This laws had an impact on them, such as
they could not use the same public facilities as whites, could not go to the
same school, restaurant, cafe, and even they had no voting rights.
has been described from the previous paragraphs about racism that black people
face, today people of color still face racism.
In this modern era, racism bring into being all kind of refined ways.
Consequently, it makes people difficult to recognize whether an action can be
categorized as racism or not. Through the idea advertisement of “Dove Body
Lotion”, we can see clearly that racism idea still exist even in the media.
three images from the picture 3, 4, and 5 show people from different race as if
in the picture 3 from black African-American, picture 4 from white America
woman, and the last from Asian in the picture 5. Maybe some of the people argue
that this video advertisement is not racist advertisement since the producer of
this ad only represent the beauty of diversity without considering any
condition of ethnicity. If it not, then what the purpose is when black woman
wear a dark shirt, and on the other sides the woman in picture 4 and 5 get
dressed light-colored clothes or at least not dark as black woman wear it.
I said before, this is racist manifested in refined ways. If it’s not racism
then it should be question why the black woman did not get dressed
light-colored shirt that equal with two of rest. Seeing that, the viewer by
being inderect, belief that the beauty or good looking standard is when you
have white colored skin. Moreover, this advertisement act on behalf of the
general society belief the dark colored skin is not good looking enough since
many product holding competitions that some of their product can bleaching the
skin. With this idea of being white colored skin is more valuable than being
dark colored skin, indirect it can be categorized as being racist. Since a long
time ago, being racist have been already to run in people or white American
society blood. I got some of the
research data from the website of “Pew Research Center Social & Demographic
Trends” issued on June 27, 2016 among 3.769 participants adult that including
1.799 whites and 1.004 blacks, and 654 Hispanics. This survey focuses on the
differences between blacks and whites and on treatment of black people in the
America today. The survey finds that blacks still feel society around them
especially white people still being racist to them. Blacks feel that they still
have lower quality school than whites in 75% and other sides whites think that
lower quality school of black in 53%, lack of jobs in 65% from blacks, 46% of
white Americans telling race relations are generally good and 45% saying they
are generally bad. Different with blacks, they say race relations are bad in
61% rather than good in 34%. Moreover, 66% of Blacks say that they are treated
less fairly than whites in dealing with the police and blacks more difficult
than whites when applying for a loan than whites in 66%. Therefore, this can be
proven that black people from the time of slavery until now in the modern era
still face racism.
it should be question for some of the people who think about what makes blacks
still get racism and why it is very difficult to erase of being racist toward
black people in America society. This issue can be clear when we see in
blackness concept. Blackness concept accoding to Hrabovsky on the article “The
Concept of Blackness in Theories of Race” claims that black skin is considered
as damned and this is one of the reason why black people be as slaves. The
concept of black itself, we have already heard that some of the poets certainly
represent blackness as death, negation, and afterlife. In her article, she also
mention that the differences between black and white already show up in
Pythagoreans theory by Diogenes Laertius saying that Pythagoreans already
regarded the white color represent a good nature and black represent a bad one.
Moreover, if we look at from the Greek meaning of black skin is a result of
weather conditions and become the fierce heat of the sun and also this term is
describing a negative sign, such as illness. In the scope of Christianity
religion, purity is related with light and impurity with darkness.
the description of blackness concept, it can be deduced from this video
advertisement of “Dove Body Lotion” that black race still get racism because
the term of black as damned thing is already conceptualized in a long time ago.
The black woman in that video reveal her dark shirt and turn into white woman.
It clear that the advertisement about body lotion give the message that dark
represent as impurity and become white as represent purity and good nature when
people using this product. Therefore, black race still considered as something
inferior than anything in the historical of slavery and it is difficult to
erase the idea of black people as inferior.
In conclusion, through the advertisement of “Dove Body
Lotion” in America racism still exist, but not as fierce when the period of
slavery or Jim Crow laws. Racist in this modern era manifested
in refined ways, such as in the advertisement that difficult to recognize as
racism. Thus, it is difficult to erase all of the idea of black people as an inferior
nation and not as good as white people since the definiton of black itself are considered
the worse thing is come from in a long time ago as part of American history.
evaluation, this paper that talking about the racism that still exists among
blacks will be better if using more resources. As the public thinks itself
about the black people that can be proven whether the ads greatly affect the
mindset of the community that being racist against black people. Other data can
also be obtained by using questionnaires to support the arguments.
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