Canva Design School recently released its new study that revealed what the average face of brand models look like. The results? Unsurprisingly, overwhelmingly white.
By collecting the photos of spokespersons for brands from various markets including beauty, clothing, car insurance, electronics food and beverage and retail, the researchers were able to stitch together the average looks of the models using a software program called Psychomorph. Based on these looks, one thing is for certain, Black women are extremely underrepresented in the advertising campaigns for these huge brands.
The study claims: “While American standards of beauty are constantly changing as society shifts and evolves, the aesthetic draw of brand models remains a constant facet of effective advertisement and provides an interesting look at the perspectives of marketers and their take on their American consumers,” yet this lack of representation of anyone other than white women, for the most part, shows that society has shifted and changed very little from its standard european standards of beauty.
And then America pretends to be surprised when racist vitriol is spewed at a model merely because she has beautiful dark skin and full lips? Or surprised that self-hate and depreciation of black beauty continues even in the African-American community that is constantly bombarded by these media campaigns that deem only whiteness universally appealing enough to sell products. This lack of self-reflection for people of color by the greater society is extremely problematic and should be treated as such. Not for the sake of diversity, but to protect the psychological and emotional well-being of all people of color.
The results of this study, while unsurprising, are extremely unacceptable. America needs to do better.