Friday, July 18, 2008

Black Chicks Love Booze

Something I've noticed over the last few years is that I see alot more black female models used in alcohol advertisements. Now, I'm not talking about the ads that target black consumers (like the vintage ad below) but the ones that I see in mainstream fashion and lifestyle titles. And yes, by "mainstream" I mean magazines white people read. 
I'm never really sure how to process the images. Does it allude to some kind of racial utopia where men and women, no matter what their race, can get dressed up and shitfaced together in harmony? Or is there some other sexual subtext like in this one (notice the nice bottle placement.) 
The first ads like this that I really took notice of were the ones for Skyy Vodka. I noticed these mostly because I love vodka. I mean I really love vodka, especially back when I was in college. I remember watching The Young & the Restless years ago when Nikki had a drinking problem and would fill up her "water"glass with the spirit to hide her problem from Jack. I mean, how fucking stupid was he? Vodka doesn't have much of a smell but it sure doesn't smell like water! Anyway what I got from that whole story line was the realization that vodka could be drunk first thing in the morning from a tumbler.  Anyway, lately Skyy has been producing a number of heinously sexist ads but the ones I first noticed in mags like Entertainment Weekly were pretty tame by comparison.

Another thing I've noticed is that unlike the ads targeting black consumers, the black women used in these mainstream alcohol advertisements usually have darker skin tones. If the model in the ad represents easy sex then I guess that when it come time to make his move, the white man doesn't want booze googles clouding his judgement. I mean, could you imagine the humiliation and hurt feelings some guy would feel if he spent all night hitting on an Aisha Tyler dead-ringer at the club only to take her home and discover the next morning that he actually brought home Angelina Jolie in brown pancake makeup? No, light skin is not in for these ads, the chick must be identifiably black. 
From the facial expression on this woman, the chick has to be dark... and unhappy. Hell I guess I'd be unhappy too if the only thing I could find to wear to a fancy party was my curtains. Top that off by arriving and finding out that the only brother there is gay?! She's in for a long night and the only spirit at the bar is Hennessy. Disgusting. When I am out and feeling like this all I can think about is my TiVo.

I posted before about this 10 Cane Rum ad and I'm still mad about the old man in the dingy. I guess if that's the white guy's only competition for the affections of this Nubian goddess, he's in a pretty good position to close the deal. Especially if she's loaded. I guess I'm just more of a land person because I could not be that relaxed just floating on a boat. Hasn't she seen Jaws?
This Belvedere Vodka ad is more of a warning than anything. Black girls, please look at the skankitude that is Vincent Gallo. If that is what a night of drinking and partying will lead to then take a good long look (and smell) of him, then look at yourself, take off your fuck me pumps, hail a cab and go home. 


K said...

Vincent Gallo? There is not enough vodka in the world.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I thought Vincent had an "issue" with sisters. hmmm

slanderous said...

This entry is genius. And yes, there is not enough alcohol, money, chocolate, whatever, in the world to want to go there --or anywhere-- with Vincent Gallo.

Shell said...

I love your posts. They always make me think.

Luscious Librarian said...

Ah, the exoticism of black women. I assume the darker skin plays up the exotic 'other' theme. Ever since I stopped relaxing I've become uber-attractive to Europeans, in general. Maybe it's an authenticity thing too?

It is kind of sad though, that black men have to be emasculated to join in the fun.

Anonymous said...

@ luscious librarian, being gay does not automatically entail being emasculated. masculine dudes can get it on with each other.

also it's nice to see darker sisters in magazines
i would say that ads with lighterskinned models can be very problematic as well

Anonymous said...

agreed with luscious librarian - there def is something at work about access to/through the exotic other body and perhaps how that symbolism intends to communicate a message of inhibition / "primitiveness"/"nativeness" that is oft read through dark skin (in high contrast to whiteness) and is an ideal of alcohol consumption. ?

Asian Models Blogger said... that you mentioned it, there ARE a lot of black models in alcohol ads.

ohnochriso said...

I used to live in Fort Greene in Brooklyn and, after walking around the neighborhood a lot, I noticed that all the billboard/bus shelter/side-of-building ads for liquor ALWAYS featured people of color, especially women. And it definitely felt like these ads were always selling this package. Like, here is this highly sexualized woman of color along with this delicious beverage! You can have them both! I feel like it all really plays into these cultural stereotypes that women of color represent an easy access sexuality and, in these ads, it's made all the easier by the introduction of alcohol.

Don't even get me started on Vincent Gallo. The man is a stain.