Jordan B. sent in an interesting observation about the current advertising at Diesel.  Many of the ads feature varying skin tones, but the darker-skinned models appear to always be male, while the women appear to always be lighter-skinned.  Two ads:

Jordan thinks that Diesel is following American cultural rules that gender race and racialize gender.  For example, if I may quote myself:

According to American cultural stereotypes, black people, both men and women, are more masculine than white people. Black men are seen as, somehow, more masculine than white men: they are, stereotypically, more aggressive, more violent, larger, more sexual, and more athletic. Black women, too, as seen as more masculine than white women: they are louder, bossier, more opinionated and, like men, more sexual and more athletic.

I’ll let Jordan finish the thought:

This is why Diesel’s selection of a black man and light skinned women makes sense for their ads.  By choosing a black man, men everywhere will want to identify with the hyper-masculinity our society has attributed to them. Similarly, by choosing a light-skinned woman, Diesel is selecting the type of women our society has put on a pedestal.

For more, see our posts on asymmetry in interracial marriagehow Asian women are marketed to white men, and data on race and response rates on a dating website.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.