A 21st Century Paper Bag Test.

Move to the left….
McDonald’s “mixed race” “cha cha slide” kid

“The biracial look is in vogue in advertising. The process of changing racial definitions continues, and dramatic new developments may be on the horizon.”—Anthony J. Cortese, Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), p. 113

Always count on BlackCommentator.com to, once again, boldly go: “Biracial is the New Black,” by K. Danielle Edwards, laments what the author sees as a new light-skinned color standard for Black people in advertising and related contexts:

What’s up with all the olive-skinned, spiral-curled, hazel-, blue- and green-eyed folks standing in for black people in commercials and print advertisements these days?
I’ve noticed this trend for a while now – black models being phased out in favor of a new ideal: taupe-hued beauties with coifs that look like water wave #6. Gone are the likes of models Phina and Beverly Peele and in are the… well, they certainly cannot be called black, in the conventional sense. Even during February’s Fashion Week in New York, famed model Tyson Beckford asked, “What happened to all the black models?” And Naomi Campbell lamented, “Women of color are not a trend. That’s the bottom line.”

She adds:

Flipping through a recent issue of a popular black women’s magazine, in a Nivea lotion ad, I spotted a lanky light-skinned lovely with a crown of zig-zag curl #2, in the arms of a man who might be described as tall, dark and handsome, but certainly not black.

A few pages over, my fingers landed on an ad for Just for Me hair products, featuring a little girl with a wet-n-wavy ‘do and beige flesh, who looked primed for plessage, a la 19th-century New Orleans. Then I stumbled over a Roca Wear ad, featuring a Hapa-looking, sienna-skinned cutie.

A few minutes later, I turned on the TV and shook my head as I saw the new McDonald’s “Cha Cha Slide” commercial, featuring a bright-skinned boy with Duke kit hair, who somehow just doesn’t fit in with his clearly black mom, dad and sister at the kitchen table.

“Nowadays,” adds Edwards, “the media reveals an unsettling spectacle – the systematic encroachment upon conventional Blackness, as agents of racial ambiguity increasingly replace it.” Preach.




#1 Adia on 07.23.08 at 2:00 pm

Hey, Harry. This is a new trend? Not at all. Was it ever really universally popular to see any body other than bi-racial “looking” black people on tv or advertisements? We’re spotted here and there as a token to demonstrate the “ethnic” look but other than that dark skin has never been the headliner.

#2 Sandra on 07.23.08 at 8:02 pm

Hmm, yes this happens in Australia too. Personal opinion: not too black to be recognisant of a look that’s clearly not white; just black enough to be attainable for white people via hair curling / straightening devices, coloured contact lenses if necessary and solariums.

And as my supervisor would say, it also goes toward whites “redeeming their virtue” … see they haven’t erased black people after all, see they are inclusive, see they do respect difference, see they can sell products through black(ish) images …

#3 keepitmovin on 07.23.08 at 8:42 pm


#4 worth on 07.27.08 at 11:24 pm

Was this inspired by Oz?

#5 Lena L. West on 07.28.08 at 4:52 pm

Yet another attempt to foster in-race hatred and dislike.

I noticed this too, but thought it was just me. I’ve also noticed when darker skinned people ARE in commercials/ads, they’re singing and dancing. What up with that??

#6 Jane on 08.01.08 at 1:34 am

What I’m wondering is why no one has asked these models and actors where they feel they belong. Isn’t it unfair to say they are or aren’t some category?

#7 AllPeople (AP) Gifts on 12.28.09 at 4:33 pm


It is often a surprise for people to learn that,
in reality, there is actually No Such Thing
As a \Light Skinned Black\ person.

The term \Light Skinned Black\ is really nothing more
than a racist oxymoron that was created by racial
Supremacists in an effort to forcibly deny those
Mixed-Race individuals, who are of what is referred
to as being a Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed
(MGM-Mixed) Lineage, the right to fully embrace and
to also receive public support in choosing to acknowledge
the truth regarding their complete ancestral heritage.

The people who have been slapped with the false label and
oxymoronic misnomer of \Light Skinned Black\ person are
simply Mixed-Race individuals — who are from families
which have became and have remained continually
Mixed-Race throughout their multiple generations.

It should also be noted that no one is saying that having
a light skin complexion is the ‘only’ or even a ‘required’
proof of being of a continuously Mixed-Race lineage.

What is simply being said here is that it is just one
of the clearly-visible and openly undeniable forms
of proof that a person is of a Mixed-Race lineage.

Also — the legend of the existence of so-called ‘Brown Paper Bag’
Tests; ‘Blue Vein’ Societies; ‘Fine-Toothed Comb’ Tests; etc. —
have been PROVEN by multiple historians to have been (very
much like the infamous so-called ‘Willie Lynch Letter / Speech’
HOAX and the myth of a Light-Skin ‘House’ / Dark-Skin ‘Field’
chattel=slave \hierarchy) nothing more than a series of mere
‘Urban Myths’ and ‘Urban Legends’ created in order to incite
unmerited hostility toward the people of Multiracial Lineage.

For more information on MGM-Mixed lineage and / or for data,
bibliography, links and other sources which prove that that these
urban myths and legends are unfair and true, feel free to view
the information at the found at the links listed below and / or
to contact me directly via email at soaptalk@hotmail.com.


— AllPeople (AP) Gifts







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