Friday, January 30, 2009

CNN - Obama girl "look-alike" model in spotlight


S: Daylife, Viewimages

Apparently, Madison Avenue has discovered that regular old brown skinned black girls are cute. Jezebel reported earlier this week that ad agencies are scrambling to find Sasha and Malia look-alikes of a specific age and ethnicity (what does THAT mean, I wonder) to cast in commercials and print ads.

According to branding expert David Rogers the reason for this is simple:

"The most visible, most exciting family in America is this beautiful black family and so people are ready and looking for those kinds of images," says branding expert David Rogers, adding that a lot of Americans want to identify and, "find some sort of connection with this family."

Now CNN reports that 6 year old Brooklynite Ariel Binns who "looks remarkably like First Daughter Sasha Obama" is cleaning up at casting sessions. If you'll recall, the first-grader was cast as a Sasha stand-in for the Harper's Bazaar shoot with Tyra Banks late last year.

There's no denying that little Ariel is adorable and personally, I am all for more brown skinned little girls being cast in advertisements. I've noticed frequently over the years that any ad with a black family usually has the parents toting around racially ambiguous children with them, especially little girls. Sweet face little girls with blondish ringlets are cute but so are girls with kinkier afro puffs and braids.

Other than being small, cute and brown, I don't think this child is not a ringer for Sasha at all. What do you think? Is the "Obama Effect" on pop culture just temporary or will it actually change the way many Americans view black families?

17 comments:

Ebony Intuition said...

Its a fad, 3 weeks ago modeling agency's would make any excuse to not place a actually black child in an ad, and like you said they will use racial ambigious children as if we can't tell the difference. And all of sudden they want to use black kids, they only needs us when they are able to make a profit of us.

Rosaxe said...

Ugh. I found the CNN clip revolting. I agree, the girl doesn't look like Sasha Obama. It's like they just discovered black girls as the new cute little purse. Maybe next season, Asian girls will be in.
I feel sorry for that little girl when in a couple of seasons she finds out she's no longer in fashion.

Camille Acey said...

Cute girl, but she doesn't look like Sasha or Malia and (ooooh wee!) you know Michelle would never let them girls out the house unless their hair was the smoothest of bouncy Hawaiian Silky. Don't wanna upset the neighbours!

elle said...

No, she doesnt look like Sasha if you look at her face and features. Not surprised though, because for many people we still all look alike.

Brigitte said...

Camille - I haven't heard words "Hawaiian Silky" for years!

Aliya said...

@Brigitte:love this site. just bounced here after looking for perspective on the end of Domino. I was also annoyed that the Joy Bryant cover touted her favorite...hotel room?
@Camille: I just talked about this on my own blog.I don't think Malia or Sasha have perms. Yet. Seems like they vacillate from cornrows to blow outs/press'n'curls...At least I think so...
And you are all correct: those girls look NOTHING like the Obama girls. Nothing at all...

Ogegevivkie said...

the child looks busted!
and is she working a runway? oh hell no. And those eyes, those eyes, I see some Naomi-esque diva virus in those eyes.

Camille Acey said...

@Alia - They might not be perms but that is one HELL of a press and curl or blowout. Their hair was bouncing and "obeying" like Charlie's original angels themselves.

@Oge- Come on, let's play nice. It's just a little girl.

Camille Acey said...

oops, i take it back.

here's a picture of sasha in afro puffs - http://slides.sitewelder.com/users/petesouza/images/petesouza100527.jpg

and here is one of malia with two strand twists. our girls run the gamut. props to moms! - http://www2.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Obama+Gives+Fathers+Day+Speech+Sunday+Church+sXInawfxMaFl.jpg

Ebony Intuition said...

@Aliya

Your correct, they don't have perms, they just do blow outs.

Ogegevivkie said...

@ Camille, the child is a model "selling" a look so if she looks busted (IMO anyways), I think its my right to say that she looks busted. So, she looks busted.

Speaking of the Obama girls, does anyone think that they are becoming overexposed? I mean, they are mixing with young celebrities like Keke Palmer, attending festivities, hanging out with the Jonas brothers in the White House, attending Miley Cyrus concerts, on magazine covers etc etc Are Michelle and her man getting a little too carried away? if this is what Michelle meant by making the girls "live a normal life", then I'm SKERRRRRRD!

Anonymous said...

The picture of the little girl with afro-puffs IS NOT SASHA. It's Malia, taken when Obama was sworn in as Senator. She was a lot younger then. Please tell me you can tell the difference between the two girls. They look decidedly different from each other.

Camille Acey said...

@anonymous - It might shock you to find out but I don't live in America and, as such, haven't been following the saga as closely as others. I don't even know which one is Sasha and which one is Malia. I always just thought they were a package deal. My bad for assigning the wrong names.

Black Girl said...

I like how in Jezebel, it says that not only is it a specific age and ethnicity but "allegedly hard to find"

LOL- like little black girls are are rare phenomenon in America

Chelly said...

Don't even get me started. I think its a fad. African-American families have been around for how long? Oh now our girls are pretty enough to get castings? Whatev! And that little girl does not look like Sasha in any way shape or form. But eh it could have been worse right?

Alsace said...

Check out The Black Snob's "Cute Little Black Girls Are Everywhere, You Idiots!" campaign to find pics of cute little black girls to send to ad agencies. It's a great idea!

http://blacksnob.com/snob_blog/2009/2/3/on-little-black-girls-beauty-and-barbie-dolls.html

DON'T SWEAT IT said...

Yeah she's cute, but this is something that should have taken place years ago. As someone pointed out earlier, it's not as though they're rare. Not all little black girls are/look like Sasha and Malia Obama, we don't want to have an identity crisis on our hands.

And to answer your question, I can't help but feel as though the "Obama effect" is a temporary one.