Friday, April 2, 2010

Gertie, Girl Reporter {4.2.10}

Hello, friends! And welcome back to Girl Reporter, in which I channel my inner Lois Lane to bring you the week's most interesting stuff from my Google Reader. This week, there's my fave celebrity, Gabby Sidibe, an analysis of hipster glasses, and a look at Cotton's disturbing new marketing campaign. Let's read some articles!

Happy weekend!


  1. Not only do these ads romanticize cotton picking, they are also careful to show black and white women side by side and made up/photoshopped to be eerily similar. Because that's what the racial history of cotton picking is, obviously. Gah.

    Of course they couldn't show only black women picking cotton. Or only white ones. You know, when you find out there's no way to implement your advertising concept without it looking horribly offensive, that could be a hint that YOUR CONCEPT IS HORRIBLY OFFENSIVE.

  2. Mpressive ThreadzApril 2, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    When I became a manager and got an office, the first thing I brought for my office was a large framed painting of a cotton field complete with wagon, mule and people picking cotton. I hung it over my desk so it was the first thing you saw when entering my office. The president of the foundation entered my office, smiled and asked me about the painting. I told him I was the first generation in my family that DID NOT HAVE to pick cotton. He understood. That was only twenty years ago.

    This ad campaign needs to go away, right away.

  3. Gertie, have you seen the Blood Sweat and Tshirts program?

    I couldn't find an actual copy of the show, but it looks *really* interesting.

  4. Wow. I find that Cotton campaign incredibly offensive! Having read enough about the slave era South, the "rise of cotton", and then the decades of sharecroppers and suppression of African Americans through poverty and racial prejudice, I find it really disgusting that they're trying to make it look "romantic" and "clean". Even though all my ancestors never had to do anything like cotton picking (farming in New England, yes), farm work/sharecropping was no easy or "pretty" matter. It was hard, back breaking work that was pretty disgusting when you think about the system most people lived under in the South. :p Bad move on the cotton industry's part--I wonder what the heck they were thinking?!

    Also: thanks for the link to the French Elle issue! I am utterly in love with this lady: she's gorgeous and effervescent. Hurrah for featuring a gal who isn't the norm within the fashion glossies world!

  5. The blood sweat and t-shirt programme was really good. Good as in it opened your eyes. I find it hard to picture these things sometimes so when you see actual footage of little kids finishing for the day just to then sleep under their sewing machine to get up and do it all in a couple of hours, it breaks your heart. If you can find the series you should watch it...maybe not when you're feeling so emotional though!
    Lottie x

  6. That cotton ad campaign is unbelievable. I'm forwarding it to my mom and aunts, who as dirt poor white trash kids in West Texas in the 50s (their words), had to pick cotton. As one of my aunts said, "Need motivation to get an education? Go pick cotton."

  7. The cotton campaign is really offensive.
    I wish I could find a French ELLE. Our city's bookstores don't carry it.

  8. I'm always flummoxed by people who romanticize farming and farm labor. I'm a redneck farm kid and I tell you, there's nothing nice, easy or romantic about it. I've picked cotton, pulled weeds, dug ditches, planted trees, picked up rocks and spent hours in the hot sun on top of tractors or walking up and down rows. It's hot, it's hard and it's given me a great appreciation for people who farmed before tractors, as well as nice, indoors, air conditioned work places.

    Additionally, as a Southerner I cringe at the entire concept. Fail.

  9. I cringe just at the LOOK of the ads - even if I knew nothing about the reality of cotton picking (which I actually don't, after all, as I'm Czech and we have no cotton here) - the ads even fail at delivering the message they're trying to deliver with the means they chose to deliver it with. Really, trying to promote rurality, softness and the like with such blinding colours and heavy make-up? The ads seem to be a total fail on all levels.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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