Hello, our names are Pallavi, Kanoa, and Catalina, and we are students at Stanford University, in the course Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe. Our three respective topics are fairness creams and social mobility, portrayal of racism in political cartoons across history, and negative media portrayals of elderly people.
Older people are negatively portrayed in the media, from magazine advertisements, to health care commercials, to beauty products. Their roles are often those of the simple, feeble, overly conservative, physically or mentally deficient. Furthermore, they are underrepresented in advertisements, and when they are advertised they are shown in an excessively negative light. Negative media portrayals of older people have a detrimental effect on how they feel about themselves, as well as how younger people view the prospect of aging. This paper explores the ways in which our preconceived notions about older people are shaped by the media and the degree to which they are ingrained.
Skin lightening is a phenomenon that has for years been quietly sweeping Asia into frenzy, particularly in the Indian Subcontinent. Presently, the fairness cream industries are not as discrete about their products as they were in the past. Fairness product advertisements monopolize all mediums of communication with deliberate intent, and promise a better life to their consumers. Companies such as Fair and Lovely and Ponds are thriving on well-believed notions that fair skin is superior to one that is dark, and are using this emotional vulnerability of the consumers to unscrupulously promote their products. The companies clearly state that fairness will lead to success both corporately and socially, thus fueling a plethora of existing insecurities that ultimately, and selfishly translate into reaping windfall profits from their sale of a ‘promise.’
The purpose of this essay is to explore the change in perspective of racism and U.S. relations in Hawaii using political cartoons. The author focuses on political cartoons from the annexation era, circa 1875-1905, to understand societal assumptions of race and U.S. relations in early Hawaii. He then focuses on cartoons of today to see the change of these key issues throughout Hawaiian history. Political cartoons give a definitive lens in which we can understand how Hawaii has changed, due to the social change of the islands. He then argues how cartoons can help to shape the future of Hawaii.