DETERMINING DIFFERENCE



With regard to the Versace advertisement, it is evident that the woman is white which brings forth much discussion. Throughout history, white persons have always held the higher advantage and have had much more power than their darker counterparts. In other words, the woman enjoys “white privilege”; a right, advantage, external image rich-man-poor-man.jpgor immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities. Society has progressed and views have changed for the better, but unfortunately blacks and other non-whites are still discriminated against. The Civil Rights Movement helped revolutionize people’s attitudes towards people of color and helped bring about affirmative action, allowing for equality in the work place. Still, white male and females dominate appearances in ads, as well as on the t.v. screen. Popular shows such as Glee and Modern Family contain a predominantly white cast. White privilege also brings upon the topic of the KKK and radical skin heads, which have been around for centuries. In addition to race playing a key part in the Versace advertisement, gender is also instrumental in the way the ad is perceived. As a woman, she appears elegant and poised and looks as if she does not back down from anything or anyone. Women, similar to people of color have faced discrimination and prejudice with such issues as voting, owning property, and equality in the work place. During the mid 1950s, women were meant to stay at home and take care of the family. When my grandma and grandpa started to have a family, my grandfather pulled my grandmother out of work and said that she does not belong in the workforce. He was met without any confrontation and at the time, this was considered a normal thing. By today’s standards, this would have been unthinkable. Women are now encouraged to go to school and achieve a good education and continue on in the workplace. I believe that our society looks for external image socialclass8.jpg?disposition=downloadconfidence and poise and if one does not show these characteristics, then the person is weak and is not “fit” for society. In many ads, women are portrayed as powerful and having complete and total control over the situation. The woman is stoic and shows no emotion, making her appear cold and callous. It’s as if she is saying “Don’t mess with me. You don’t know what I’m capable of.” Furthermore, she is dressed in what we can assume to be an extremely expensive dress and an expensive piece of jewelry. She, in essence, is the epitome of fashion and what one should wear in order to achieve success. For centuries, women have had to work diligently in order to secure the same social, economic, and political rights as those guaranteed to men. When a woman achieves the success of becoming CEO of a company, it is considered uncommon, but a man achieves equal success, it is considered entirely normal and almost obvious that it is a man. In addition, the advertisement also plays upon stereotypes. When we think of women having power, we picture them to be white, skinny, tall, and well-dressed and poised. When we think of maids, we portray them to be young, Hispanic women dressed in a black dress with a white apron and collar. Lastly, the ad brings about issues of social class. In the ad, we see what appears to be a rich woman who is staring threateningly at a nervous, Mexican maid. Social class can be defined as a class of people, based on social power, wealth or another criterion. In our culture, people who are able to afford a maid are usually higher up in the social class and are associated with the rich and famous. Issues with social class have been more prevalent than ever now. An episode made by 60 Minutes revealed that social classes are changing dramatically and more and more families are being forced into poverty. Although the ad by Versace was issued a few years ago, its effects can still be talked about today. The ad also gives maids a bad name, as if they are merely objects controlled by their owners, almost like a slave and his or her owner. The maid is only there to serve the purposes of her owner.







Differences in social class can not be more evident than with the cases of Elliot Spitzer and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Spitzer, former governor ofNew York, and Schwarzenegger, current governor of California were both involved in extra marital affairs. Spitzer with a female prostitute and Schwarzenegger with a house maid and both were caught in a media firestorm. Both men held an extremely high spot in the social class level and thought they were immune from anything…except when they were caught. Here we have two wealthy, powerful men cheating on their wives with women of almost the lowest social class possible. Wealth and power create extreme differences and can separate the good from the bad.