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Underwear and Race

Printed From: WorldHistoria Forum
Forum Name: Current Affairs
Forum Description: Debates on current World Politics.
Printed Date: 15 Jul 2020 at 15:10
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Topic: Underwear and Race
Posted By: franciscosan
Subject: Underwear and Race
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2018 at 10:45
I went to Target today and bought underwear (briefs) and tank tops (Hanes).  Target is like K-Mart or Walmart, maybe a little more "respectable." (for those who don't know American retail outlets).  I found it interesting that the model on the package for the extra-large tank-tops was black, a clean cut, dark skin American black (not a dark, dark African black).  But, not a light skin, "smoky" black where the advertisers want to tip their hat to ethnicity, but not commit all the way.  Of course, there is nothing that the advertisers leave to chance.  I think it is a sign of America's general acceptance of race, if the advertisers thought race was an issue, they would be sure to avoid it when selling underwear.  Of course, it may be that blacks buy more tank tops, and so they are tipping their hat to that market.

I think it was in that days of Clark Gable that undershirts for men (amongst whites???) became passe.  He appeared in a movie with his shirt off, and that spelled the end.  Likewise, Kennedy went to the inauguration without a hat, and that kind of did away with the habit of most men daily wearing hats (except baseball caps).

So, I ask, if Americans are supposedly so deeply racist, then why do they allow their tank tops to be marketed in such a way?

btw, the model in the tank top was definitely a lot more fit than an XL. 

Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2018 at 21:52
Good grief - you mean you actually look at advertising?


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2018 at 09:19
Yes, and what it "says."  Besides 'if you want to be a black hunk like this, wear our underwear.'

Underwear was a non-issue issue in the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, at some college town hall, a young lady asked whether Bill Clinton wore boxers or briefs.  Clinton said, boxers, "come up here babe and I'll show you."  (Well, he did not say that.)  Now how could a stodgy Bush (or was it Dole?) compete with a saxophone playing, boxer wearing hipster like that???  Oh, some people said that Clinton was the first black president, whatever that means.  Underwear and race.

The joke paper, "the Onion," did a mock story in the 2008 election on how Newsweek was going to next week, "ask the hardest questions on underwear yet," for candidate Obama.  In other words, underwear questions are non-issue questions that are slow pitched to a candidate the media likes.  The Onion had the honesty to point out that that was what the general media was doing with Obama in the 2008 election.  In contrast, the McCann candidacy who the media had been friendly with in the past, were getting the gotcha! questions.  It was clear that the mood had changed.

But no, I do not think that Obama was asked about his underwear, that is the quintessential slow pitch, Softball question and appears as such.  The want slow pitch questions that don't necessarily appear as slow pitch questions, people however, love zingers if it is against the "bad guy.' (how many houses do you have? against McCann, is a condo a house?  is a vacation home a house?, if it is in his wife's name, is it McCann's house?)

In the British Magazine 'the Economist,' after the election there was an article on how comedians would not go after Obama, because they favored him.  The exception to that was 'the Onion.'  I assume more serious media outlets continued slow pitch softballs for the Obama administration. 

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