Pretty White Girls

11 thoughts on “Pretty White Girls”

  1. Love this post, I really like how you see it from a different perspective. Lots of people might think those adverts of ‘pretty white girls’ are supposed to attract young men to the neighbourhoods. But I like how you see it differently and state it is for other white women to feel safe and familiar. On which I do agree. I experience it too, myself. Not only on advertisements (which surely will help, but not I’ve never been aware of it) but also people you see walking through the streets. You really made a good point here.

  2. Yes, I’ve seen the PWG too, but what and my wife have noticed FAR more is the PRAG, the Pretty Racially Ambiguous Girl. Think about the POWER, sure, in some markets (not all of the “white”, BTW, just like many whites are attracted to spots that have a lot of East or South Asians) the srereotypical slender, blonde, U of Virginia grad is preferable (and why not? I thought we aren’t supposed to criticize what other people want anymore. She is not a big draw to ME, but no matter.) but the preponderance of the the undeniably pretty, intelligent-looking, emotionally engaging looking girl who doesn’t really look “white” and also doesn’t really look “something else” is practically made-to-order for this kind of marketing. After all, what is being sold is aspiration, and no one is, truly, trying to be, or live near “whites” or any other complexioned group —- what people are trying to be is happy, positive, competent, caring and independent. If you know of any such communities whether they are “white, black, Asian Arab, indigenous American” y’all let me know. Sounds like a perfect place for my daughter 😉

  3. Pretty white girls are used to sell just about everything. You look at a men’s magazine (or men’s interest website) and it’s loaded with pretty white girls. You look at a woman’s magazine (or women’s interest website) and its loaded with pretty white girls. My guess is they all go to the same stock art web sites and search for “potential condo purchasers” or “potential renters” and they get all the pretty white girls they need.

    I remember a subway ad in New York for an apartment complex in New Jersey because everyone shown was black. They were dining on the terrace, settling in their living room or working out at the fully equipped health club. You really don’t see that kind of thing often. There was not one white girl, pretty or not, to be seen.

  4. Even in areas like LA where the ads do indeed show multiple ethnicities, the models are always freshly scrubbed, white-collar career-focused, not working class. Perhaps the target demographic also has quite a lot to do with class too.,

  5. I always assumed the pretty young females are intended to attract primarily guys. Aftermarket cars are often advertised with extremely attractive women in extremely skimpy bikinis even though that market is overwhelmingly male. The women in those ads are wearing much more reasonable attire but I’m still getting “rent here and really hot girls will be interested in you” vibes, especially from the guy helping a woman with a laptop (helping like that would not be acceptable under most companies’ employee policies!) and from the woman with the off-the-shoulder sweater and the come-hither look.

  6. I used to work in the marketing dept. of a large REIT based in S.F. If anything, we were super conscious about including women, seniors, families and minorities in the photos, to almost ridiculous U.N.-esque extremes. In a California context, not doing so would be grounds for a juicy lawsuit, even though we knew damn well who we wanted to rent to: young-ish high-income professionals, most likely white or asian:

  7. Maybe i just never noticed before, but on many of the architectural illustrations of the new, slick development being proposed in my city, many of the “people” populating that idealized CG world look like hipster models (scroll towards bottom):

    5 years ago, I would have said that that doesn’t look at all like Portland, except that recently a couple of very modely looking LA yoga instructor types bought a house across the street (they even have a couple of fancy pure bred dogs!). Uh oh.

  8. The preponderance of any advertising I see here in the Los Angeles area, no matter what that advertising is meant to achieve, is vastly “minority” represented. Often, any white inclusion, especially male, is depicted as less than average capacity. I agree, if you see it once or twice it may just go by. After an uncountable number of events it does sinks in.

    1. Paul – New York, LA, and several other markets are “majority minority” locations. The target demographic could be Koreans, Armenians, Indians, Chinese, Dominicans… Developers know who they’re selling to. White guys (particularly older poorer white guys) really resent not being front and center anymore. Fair enough.

  9. Frankly I would feel safer in a building full of 40+ Latinas who as a group seem to be more caring, concerned and outer directed than texting, hair obsessed, tinder and FB status conscious white girls.

    1. Don’t shoot the messenger… I’m just observing what is. And by the way, these advertisements may be directed at white girls, but the girls (and guys) who actually move in tend to be more diverse. Remember, the promotional material is an emotional appeal not strictly reality. The other thing to keep in mind is that over the next thirty years these buildings will stop being shiny and new and will become the de facto market rate affordable housing everyone says we need more of.

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