ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Black People Allowed To Wear Lingerie?

Updated on June 12, 2010

Put down your pickaxes, wipe away the foam that frothed the moment you saw this article and at least read the first paragraph before you start typing in all caps. This isn't some half witted racist rant, it's an observation I made after reading a reader's comment about the fact that a certain piece of lingerie that I accused of being beige was probably yellow but because the model wasn't quite tanned enough, it didn't look yellow in the picture.

It was then that I realized almost every lingerie model I've ever seen used in online commercial lingerie shoots appears to be exactly the same shade of tan. Now either the online world has one very busy lingerie model, or consumers are biased towards buying lingerie when it is modeled by tanned Caucasian ladies and not men, or indeed, black people.

Flicking through my favorite lingerie websites I spied not a single woman with a skin tone darker than what lingerie manufacturers would probably call 'Cafe' or some other silly euphemism for 'pretty much white, but not really'. That's interesting. That's very interesting. It's even more interesting that I myself never noticed the inequality before I stumbled over a comment that mentioned the model's skin tone.

We could blame the lingerie marketers for this apparent inequality, but I don't think we should because marketers only give us what we want them to give us, indeed, the job of a marketer is to package a product in the most appealing way to the majority of purchasers of lingerie, and apparently, the most appealing way to package lingerie is on the body of a mostly white woman.

It reminds me somewhat of an experiment aired on Oprah where little black girl was shown two dolls, one black, one white, and asked which one was good and which one was bad. The little girl pointed out the white one as being good and the black one as being bad. She was then asked which one she looked like. She picked up the white one before sadly putting it down and picking up the black one in one of the most heart rending displays of racial awareness I've ever seen.

So although we could argue that lingerie is aimed at the majority of the market, and that in most markets the majority is largely Caucasian, the total lack of dark skinned models makes that too facile an explanation. After all, black people undoubtedly do buy and wear lingerie too and they are hardly an insignificant proportion of the population and yet very little of it seems to be marketed to them at all.

At the end of the day, I have to return to the fact that marketers reflect society's ideals back at them, that's why we don't often see advertising featuring overweight people with acne and bad haircuts. Those aren't images we aspire to, and apparently, when it comes to lingerie, we aspire to being trim, toned white ladies with tans. 

Whilst researching this piece I came across this picture of Victoria's Secret models and marveled at the fact that by some act of magic trickery Tyra Banks, possibly the worlds most famous beautiful black woman, is actually not as dark as the blonde standing next to her, thus proving that every rule has an exception or that high end fashion models are not bound by the laws of ordinary men and women.

This image censored because the internet must be sanitized for the sake of the children, who are allowed to watch pop stars gyrating and singing explicit lyrics on tv, but who must never see an uncovered woman online.
This image censored because the internet must be sanitized for the sake of the children, who are allowed to watch pop stars gyrating and singing explicit lyrics on tv, but who must never see an uncovered woman online.
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)