Reblog: “The Racial Construction of Preppiness”


A June article by The Guardian has once again invoked a discussion on the creations of stereotypes and racism within today’s media (which is also discussed in “threadbared” article on “The Racial Construction of Preppiness”). Ralph Lauren “has spent nearly 50 years defining and refining preppiness. Its website is full of vomtastic talk of “American style” and “inviting people to take part in our dream”; the advertising is full of clean-cut boys starring in what could be a burlesque versions of The Great Gatsby”. Their polo shirts is still an all-time favourite of many who sees the need to flaunt one’s status and “bank acount”. The above photograph is of an alleged drug trafficker, Edgar Valdez Vliiareal, wearing a green Ralph Lauren Polo shirt while being escorted by armed Mexican federal officers dressed in riot gear. The Guardian identifies this image as an outlaw to Ralph Lauren’s promotional image -a prestige and pristine background- stereotyping Mexicans with “thick-set and stubbly drug dealers”, outlawing the prospects of other races, particularly Americans, with the “decency” to be drug dealers. The use of clothes today plays an important role in stereotyping one into a particular category. Asians tend to stick to a particular style, afraid of breaking out of the “peer pressure bubble”. Style is not about trend-following. You are the trend.

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