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  • Caroline Perryman

Multiculturalism and Me

This is the story of the college courses that changed my life. When I came to Denton, I didn’t have a sense of purpose or something worth fighting for. I was confused and couldn’t decide on a major. I joined a sorority and couldn’t care less about my grades. After my freshman year, I registered for a few subjects I thought sounded interesting. I’ve always been a good salesman, so I signed up for a Marketing class. The class was called ‘culture and consumption’, which evaluated primarily Hispanic and Asian Americans and their presence in American culture overall. Thinking nothing of the content, I chose this class at random to see if I liked marketing. Simultaneously, I took an introduction to advertising and PR class. This semester changed my life. I was inspired by my professors and found a reason to fight. I wanted to end stereotyping and racism through advertising. I switched my major that semester and never looked back.

The norms and trends of advertising are changing. Social media has allowed an open dialogue and discussion forum for brands. People often bring up hard topics like minorities in advertisements or lack thereof. A certain viewpoint called multiculturalism inspired me to represent all skin tones and ethnic groups in strategy and execution of advertisements. Goodbye bias opinions! Not only is this the ethical thing to do, but it is fiscally responsible as well. The population of Hispanic Americans is expected to double by 2050, and some research suggests we will soon no longer have a majority ethnicity in the US. Brands who aren’t afraid of change are the ones who will run the future. The only thing stopping these brands is fear. Buzz and shock keep our industry exciting, however some members of the ad world don’t see it this way. They want to play it safe and stick with faces who look like their own. So how do we help this problem? Hire more people who believe in multiculturalism. To help inform you about the topic, I wrote a poem.

My friends don’t look like that.

My friends are thick and freckled.

My friends have curls and bangs and brown eyes.

Why don’t my friends shop at the mall or grill burgers on Fourth of July?

The truth is they do, but advertisers sell an American lie.

My friends are just like you and I.

We all need safety, shelter, and sex on occasion.

We all want love, belonging, and a family vacation.

We are the mirror masters.

We interrupt this program to bring you a message from our sponsors.

We only see strangers and white marble statues.

My friends like swimming and watching sports.

They cry at lifetime movies and are scared of the dark.

We all have fear, and change is no different.

It’s not easy saying ‘no” to a group decision.

But what if my friends had a chance to be seen?

Would you speak up for me?

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