A picture is worth a thousand words. Nonetheless, after seeing this disgusting sexist frivolity, designed by advertising agents for the lingerie and underwear brand ‘Duloren’, we chose not to remain quiet. The company is based in Brazil and has representatives in the US and Japan, but also sells its products through Telemarketing. Obviously, the two quotes of its latest marketing slogan were not randomly selected. ‘Pacificar foi fácil / Pacifying was easy’: this can be perceived as an outrageous reference to the ethnic and social cleansing across Brazil, also with the aim of displaying a ‘civilized’ and westernized image of its population ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The current policy of the Brazilian State is enforcing social peace through a permanent police state, criminalizing poverty at the same time, what inevitably leads us to consider the daily reality of people in favelas (or ‘shanty-towns’), where the vast majority of the population is black. The new police pacification units (PPU) are occupying those neighbourhoods using bullets and physical abuse. That’s the State’s solution for ‘putting an end’ to drug-related and violent crime (which, of course, has barely been affected by the ever growing repression). The authorities and parastatal thugs are removing residents from large favelas, and they do so with the utmost violence. They are evicting the poor from their homes, as well as persecuting and banning their ways of making a living, such as street vendorship and scavenging. All this is being imposed for the benefit of the Capital, meaning specific speculators, contractors, bankers, industrialists, etc., because many of these residential areas are key locations for the construction of hotels and the establishment of tourist resorts and all kinds of development and gentrification projects.
Even though the aforementioned company — just like most firms in the same sector — launches most of its advertising campaigns using white female models, now its bosses took the ‘risk’ to present a black woman who poses as the stereotypic seductive mulata, using her hot body to seduce a uniformed killer. ‘Quero ver dominar / I want to see dominating’. Dominating, controlling and mastering whom and what precisely? Is it the people in favelas, or in particular the women, in this case from Brazil, by suppressing and dressing them with girdles and bras sold at the highest possible prices?
Moreover, through advertising, the aesthetics of ‘ideal’ body proportions are projected to make consumers feel guilt, anxiety or shame, especially those who have been lured into fitting in these canons of ‘beauty’, so that they buy any ‘magic potion’ they can(not) afford: jewelry, make-up, fancy underwear… stupid tools of the system to keep people busy with frivolities which have nothing to do with the struggle for social liberation. In this case, a black woman is holding a uniform fetish, the hat of a resting white cop. Would ‘Duloren’ like potential buyers to think that the woman is willing to give the police hat back as soon as the thug wakes up, so that he can catch up with his murderous occupational activity? The advert is not only projecting binary pairs of Power (man/woman, white/black, good/evil) but also advocates state violence against an oppressed population.