A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

On our way back from Fairmount Bagels, my son and I came across these two dolls at the Diesel Surplus store on St. Laurent boulevard. I took pictures because this was the first time that I had ever seen South Asian male dolls modeling underwear. I probably wouldn't have batted an eye if these dolls had been of women. When I got home, I showed the pictures to my husband, who works in advertising. He sees this as a simple advertisement for men's underwear with a weird twist.
"What do you think of the buff bodies?" I asked.
"They are selling underwear," he said.
"I just can't recall seeing any South Asian men with that body type or wearing so few clothes," I said. "What about the two different skin tones? Isn't that insulting? Don't you think that it could be suggesting that lighter skin is an ideal?"
"No," he said. "There are South Asians that have that colour of skin. I think that it was more insulting when different races were not represented at all in mainstream advertising."
"But aren't lighter skin tones the minority?" I asked.
He shrugged.
"Okay, then, what about the blue eyes?" I asked.
"The blue eyes are weird, and that's where it fails," he said.
"And both the dark- and light-skinned doll have blue eyes."

Somehow, I think that advertising types can explain their use of South Asian dolls as inclusion. But what about the blue eyes? Is this another way of promoting the impossible fair-skinned, blue-eyed beauty ideal. Or is this just another way of getting our attention through provocation? Or is it part of Diesel's Be Stupid advertising campaign? Well, someone's stupid.
You tell me reader.

2 comments:

Ida's Idioms | March 2, 2010 at 5:27 AM

Aussiebum a name in mens underwear, Casey Conway suffered a disabling football accident, but got a break in showing men's underwear. His skin is much darker than the picture shows..
http://www.popwired.com/?s=aussiebum

AKAmamma | March 2, 2010 at 7:28 AM

I wonder if the underwear company is planning on making a plastic doll of him and then putting it the front windows of the shops. You're right though. I did see lots of models of different races on this website, but none that were Indian. I'm still not sure if I find the whole doll business strange because of the blue eyes or because I've never seen Indian male dolls with so few clothes. Thanks for leaving a message Ida. I guess I just haven't looked that much at male underwear model in recent years.

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