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September 21, 2015 / JV

From the Vault: Nivea Gets It Wrong.

Note: I have a bunch of blog drafts from the last few years. I’m going to publish them occasionally. In fact, this is the 2nd from the O.A.B. series. From 8/19/2011. #NeverForget.

Not everything that is racially charged is racist.

When we compare the above image to the Nivea ad with the white male model (a privilege of the internet that’s nonexistent when reading a magazine), we see that both ads depend on a cultural bias that deems certain style choices (close shaven) as better. Yet we also see differences in the ad. From the absence of the “re-civilize yourself” message in the second ad, to the difference in posture — an oddly athletic (and vaguely barbaric?) crouch vs a commanding and upright stance.

Perhaps more important than asking “is this racist?” is to ask “is this some bullshit?” and the answer there is a resounding yes.


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