Advertisements are embedded with images and ideas that produce,
perpetuate, and normalize whiteness and white supremacy in our culture
and society.  In an effort to exhibit some of the ways in which mass
media ads overtly and subtly promote whiteness in our society, we
compiled magazine clippings of two commonly advertised products (makeup
and diamonds).  Below, we provide a selection of some of the ads that we

When looking at these ads, ask yourself the following

1) Who is presented in this ad?

2) What is this ad selling?

3) What is the context of this ad, and where does it take place?

4) How much money does the product that is advertised cost?

Now ask yourself, based on who and what this ad is showing:

5) Who can afford this product?

6) Who is this ad targeting?

7) How does this ad define beauty, and, according to this ad, how do we become beautiful?

8) What does this ad consider to be "natural" and

Overall, these ads reinforce whiteness as normal, natural, beautiful,
successful, and dominant.  This general trend of advertisements greatly
contributes to the existence of whiteness and white privilege upon which our entire society is based.


What You Can Do