Asian Baby in United Color of Benetton Ad

May 13, 2008

I came across this on Facebook the other day (yes yes, I have a Facebook account and so does Hyphen) and am I just crazy? Is this old and I just didn't notice it before?

And if I did notice it before, is this image more relevant today?
United Colors of Benetton has been known for its edgy ads, and of course, the diverse models. I admit. I don't own anything that's a UCB item but I do like their image. But what do you see when you look at this image? Unfortunate for me, I see a young Madonna trying to adopt, well, a baby. Ok no seriously. Tell me what you see, because I am not exactly sure what United Colors of Benetton was trying to do here. Help me grasp the meaning of this!

Lisa Lee


Lisa Lee works in User Operations at Facebook, and has more than five years of nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for multicultural arts and cultural organizations.



beneton is trying to advocate that to wear their clothes it dsnt matter what race u are, one identifies themselves with everyone from white,asian to black, mothers and women of diffrent race. at the end of the day they r trying to seel a blanket that anyrace can rap themselves to rare their child into a society that race is not an important stigmant into our daily needs.its about being open and socially accepting diverse, or it cld jst be 2 lesbians, bt its ones personal view!!
i see 2 lesbians who adopted with a backstory. they didn't want to have a child when there are others out there in need. they didn't want to adopt a baby whose race matched their own, not to favor one partent over the other, but instead of adopting a mixed child they got one whose race was completely different from theirs... actually, the chick on the left looks like laura palmer from twin peaks so this add could have some other twisted meaning.
so i am thinking of something completely twisted. so here we have the pairing of two ethnicities that asian american males are not known to be paired up with. the white female, and the black female. so the only "context" in which we will allow this is if the asian male that is used, is not threatening. what is less threatening than an asian male? well, an asian baby! so in a way, it's the desexualization of asian american males, where he is treated like an infant, and not a man. thoughts?
i think they're saying that the future of the world is asian! hahaor, 'not black, not white, but something in between!' get it?! he's in between them!no, seriously, i think they were just going for visual representation of polarities and symmetry.notwithstanding, everyone knows that asian babies are the cutest, so who could blame them?
that is a very good observation! mine was totally negative, and yours was very positive rebecca. i like it. the future is... asian? no just kidding. but i do like the idea that our world is no longer black and white. there are a lot more going on. a lot more shades of gray, or in this case, yellow.
i think they were going for a "families come in all varieties" message, similar to Ikea commercials (which i love) but a little more somber looking since its a clothing line, hence the "Zoolander-like facial expressions.
i think benetton is jus going for wot it always goes for-- anti racisim, its noble
how do you see this as anti-racism? i'd love if you could elaborate!
I see women of 2 races, both who can take care of a child equally. The point isn't about madonna. It's about the fact that white women are not the only women who can be seen as the sole race that can be considered a mother for all.