Plastered all over billboards and buses in my area, Pemco advertises their insurance (for what, I don't know). The intimacy-inducing motto is, "we're a lot like you." The pictures portray quirky Northwesterners: white-beared Bainbridge architect, 50 degrees shirt off guy, WallaWalla WineWine WomanWoman, gluten-free no-refined sugar soy allergy lady, goat renter guy.
It is pretty funny to see our local oddities called out larger than life, except one thing really bugs me. All us personality-laden people seem to be white.
For probably about a year now I've been watching the ads, wondering about the whiteness of them. Is it some ad agency's mindless oversight? Does the insurance agency really not want to attract people of color for some reason? Are race and class so mixed that people of color don't fall into the target audience for insurance - because really most of the not-white people I know still drive cars, see doctors and have children they want to protect in case of their death. Maybe the ads are carefully targeted to the demographics of the local population and so my white-self only sees white people ads. No, wait, I live in the most diverse zip code in the US so that can't be it.
Personally, I'd want my ad agency to be a little more on top of this sort of image management.
Once, for just a short run, there was a woman who looked Asian in the ads. She and her pooch represented the dog park devoted personalities. I did sigh with relief that nothing about the picture jumped out at me as being racist or stereotypical. But the ad only ran a week or so.
A quick visit over to the Pemco site yields a variety of quirky Northwesterners of color. Somehow these haven't made it to the mass public outreach.
I'd like to finish this post with some jaunty summary or witty remarks, but I find I'm at a loss. Have you seen the signs? Notice any people of color? How do the ads seem to you?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Today, I'm entering baby mania.
Bill met with our matched mama for lunch, after we talked with her last week. She's delightful, seems very grounded and well supported by her family. Hearing from her and why she thinks this adoption supports her has given me permission to get really excited.
The kids and I went to Gap and picked out outfits for the baby. Oh my gosh, I'd forgotten how tiny they are. And remember size 0-3 months will be HUGE at first? Just makes my heart squeeze. Newborn size FuzziBunz diapers arrived a few days ago, which turns out to be a whole rainbow of teeny baby bottom cuteness. I've taken to wondering how much hair he'll have and practicing inhaling newborn baby smell.
Two thing got the tears flowing today while Bill told me about his lunch. First, she kept copies of the sonogram for us which I think is so considerate and sweet (sniff, I've never seen pictures of my babies on the inside before). And, happy sigh, I think we have a name for him (don't bother asking because we're not going to tell you).
I'm looking forward to being mama to a little baby again, soon! I think we're going to have a great time together.
Friday, April 9, 2010
You wanna talk about how white I am? Let's talk sports.
There is one sport I love. That I regularly wish I could make time in my life to play. That I've wanted to play since I was about 8. That I feel guilty for not devoting time and money to enable my kids to play because I think it is so great to watch and play.
Do you know how dominated by white people hockey is? Very. Very, very. If I signed my kids up at any of the 3 rinks around that do kid hockey, my daughter would likely be the only black peson in the whole program.
If we really wanted to devote our energies to connecting with families of other black children, basketball is the way to go here. In fact, some of the basketball clubs I've seen around here are sort of the opposite of hockey. If I signed my kids up, my son would likely be the only white person in the building.
Turns out, neither of my children like being the only anything in the room. So, we do baseball and soccer because they're fun and Bill and I can stand watching hours of them each week. In our neighborhood each of these sports are pretty equally represented by the prominent races in our area. Both my children are making friends, getting great exercise and love the sports. It works for our family.
Still, my white Montana-bred heart longs for hockey. That's just how white I am.