When you see something once you don’t notice it. When you see it three times you think… hmmmm. When you see it thirty times in seven different states you realize it’s actually a thing. In this case the “thing” is pretty white girls used in advertisements for upscale apartment complexes in transitional neighborhoods.
When developers build or substantially renovate rental accommodations they need to appeal to a very specific demographic. Most men will live just about anywhere so long as they have a sofa, a wide screen TV, and ready access to beer and pizza. It’s a very low bar. But this isn’t the preferred demographic from a financial perspective.
Well educated middle class white (or white-ish) young females are a very picky group. They need to feel safe, they need to live in a place that’s clean and attractive with the right mix of amenities, and they need to believe that they’re in the correct environment to achieve their goals.
Equally important, their parents need to believe these things. If a building successfully appeals to young middle class white women every other demographic will come along for the ride.
Construction isn’t cheap so these buildings are often at the high end of the rental market. These buildings won’t lease up if there’s even a hint of inferiority of any kind. White women are front and center with handsome men offered as accessories in the promotional material.
This is the coveted demographic for new urban development. If you get the ladies everything else falls in to place. This happens to be Nashville, but the same dynamic is at work all over the country.