Taylor D. of Thanks for Participating sent in Cat Walk Cat Fight’s image that claims to show us how many sub-Saharan African children could be fed for the price of various celebrities’ engagement rings:
This is another one of those instances where I get what they’re doing, and I definitely support efforts to point out the choices we aren’t making, and what we aren’t spending on, when we decide to spend on luxury goods. And of course diamonds represent a wonderful example of marketing and monopolies; they aren’t rare and wouldn’t be worth much at all if the DeBeers and a handful of other companies didn’t carefully control their production to allow just a few onto the market each year, and if their campaign to turn diamond engagement rings into the ultimate sign of love hadn’t been so successful. And you can definitely make a larger argument about the effects of the diamond trade on many countries.
And yet, the caricature of a naked child, with features that are reminiscent of blackface, make me kind of…well, creeped out, I guess.
UPDATE: Several commenters have made another good point. I’ll quote Deb C. here:
Well, I want to point out that the featured celebs presumably *didn’t* spend that money on their rings…for most, it’s the man who spends the money… So why is it only the women who are being pictured as spendthrift airheads who care more about their vanity than the children dying in Africa?
For other examples of campaigns that maybe didn’t use the best methods, see high heels as activism, non-smokers get hot chicks, PETA, more PETA, Tila Tequila cares about human rights, pro-environment = anti-immigration, juxtaposing wealth and poverty, PETA again, and again, Spanish anti-gentical cutting ads, then back to PETA, showing domestic violence to oppose animal cruelty, hypersexualizing little girls, depicting aid recipients as pathetic, and then end with PETA.