Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blog #3

Camilla Yuan 

This is the third week of the “Be Green Challenge.”  I have yet to break the challenge; however, I don’t know if my efforts should be applauded since I don’t usually buy clothes during the school year, unless I’m at home during the breaks.  I have noticed a need for more socks in my wardrobe, since the socks that I wear to practice in the mornings always get wet; I end up going through two pairs of socks in one day.  Luckily, my girlfriend is nice enough to lend me some socks throughout the week.  So that takes care of my need for more socks.  And since I’m able to get free coffee at Starbucks, I bring my thermos with me every time I have work—so that saves me 16 cents and reduces waste from the cup that I would need to use for the coffee. 

In 2004, the whole Abercrombie and Fitch ordeal started because the company pushed out a line of shirts that featured discriminatory and derogatory designs targeting Asian and Asian Americans.  The shirts had slogans that portrayed Asians and Asian Americans through stereotypical images, such as “Wok-N-Bowl—Let the Good Times Roll—Chinese Food & Bowling” and “Two Wongs make a White.”  These shirts caught the attention of many students of color that brought this case to court.  In the case, these students also brought forth the discriminatory actions of the Abercrombie and Fitch store managers, for instance, having a manager suggest that an employee of color work in the stock room or on the late night crew in a non-sales position, away from the front (NewsSource 13).  In the end, a settlement was reached and a change for a more diverse Abercrombie and Fitch was established.  One of the individuals who were part of the case commented that she is “looking forward to seeing a more diverse Abercrombie; one that actually reflects the look of America” (NewsSource 13). 

Now, fast forward to 2014.  During the Superbowl this year, a Coca-Cola commercial, featuring the singing of “America, the Beautiful” was aired.  This commercial stirred up controversy when it incorporated the singing of this iconic song in different languages by individuals of all ethnicities.  Coca-Cola wanted to demonstrate the “melting pot” characteristic of America and show how although we come from different backgrounds, we’re all still “American.”  Many viewers took this symbolic message as something to be applauded; however, some audiences took offense to the audacity of having “America, the Beautiful” represented in different languages.  One critic even tweeted “Dear @CocaCola: America the beautiful is snag in English.  Piss off.  #DontFuckWithUs”(Time).  The writer of this article even stated that this commercial brought out “America, the Ugly.” 

From these two instances, it’s safe to conclude that it can get pretty frustrating in the world of advertising.  With Abercrombie and Fitch, the company got in trouble for singling out and discriminating against people of color.  However, with Coca-Cola, controversy was sparked when an iconic song was sung in different languages by people of color.  I just think a middle ground needs to be found and having race be an issue in the year of 2014 is frustrating for me, since I think it’s sort of ridiculous for people to be riled up by a simple commercial that reflected the “look of America” (NewsSource 13).  

Here's the video:


"Abercrombie and Fitch Settles $40 Million Discrimination Suit." NewsSource 13. N.p., 2004. Web. 25
Feb. 2014. .

Poniewozik, James. "Coca-Cola's 'It's Beautiful' Super Bowl Ad Brings Out Some Ugly Americans."
Time: Entertainment. N.p., 2 Feb. 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. 2014/02/02/coca-colas-its-beautiful-super-bowl-ad-brings-out-some-ugly-americans/>.

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