Several days later and I'm still thinking about this ad. I'm not sure what Peter Lindberg was going for with this image (it certainly is thought provoking) but I still don't like it.
It's one of those things...tough to grasp at first but then over time it slowly becomes clearer.
Initially I just thought it was because of it's gimmicky approach (there are also versions of this ad featuring White and Asian models though neither of those ads has a nude model in them.)
Then I was irked by the segregation of the models by race. It is so rare to see Black and Asian models in major ad campaigns so what it the point of placing them in fashion ghettos instead of mixing them together?
Next, I was bothered by the nude model. Now, I'm used to seeing naked ladies in fashion magazine ads but I didn't notice, until I looked at all three ads again at TFS, that this ad is the only one with a happy grinning naked lady surrounded by sourpuss expressions.
Everything is deliberate in fashion photography. You can't convince me otherwise. So why bright red? Why are all the models nearly the exact same skin color? I have a huge family and you'd be hard pressed to find two people in it that are the same shade of brown. So who made that casting decision? I can picture someone at an agency going through a stack of cards, rejecting models that weren't "black" enough. Don't get me started on the wigs. I have a teeny-weenie afro myself so it's not that afro itself that bugs me, it's just the why this?
If you are a Black woman in her mid-30s like me, then no doubt you remember when Mattel came out with the first Black Barbie doll. I got one for Christmas that year. My mom bought it under protest because she hated how the doll was styled. Guess what she looked like...I wonder what my mom would say about this ad, 27 years later.