The Invisible Woman

Have you seen the Invisible Woman? She’s easy to spot or should I say easy not to spot? It’s been a question I’ve had for a long time. But a recent holiday Macy’s commercial was the last straw.

As I watched  another mind numbingly-long and repetitive television and marketing commercial, I saw someone missing (or rather it’s what I didn’t see) in these commercials that bothered me. 

Before I go any further, to those who might try to create a distraction and try and turn this into a dysfunctional family fight – it won’t work. We are family and we stand up for our family members.

I see geckos, talking cows, green aliens, non-traditional couples, body parts and inanimate objects selling me this and that. So I ask again, have you seen the Invisible woman, my sister in these commercials, the woman who holds the purse strings of many a household? I’m talking about the African American women who looks like our Forever First Lady (FFL) Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey or Serena Williams or pick one of  your beloved women who wouldn’t pass the paper bag test. I recently saw this commercial with two couples out eating. On one side of the table was a White couple and on the other side was another couple, a Black man with a White woman. Quick, did you see the Invisible woman? Nope, she/I was visibly missing. Don’t just consider this commercial. In all the ads you see, how many have the Invisible woman in them? Pick a product, any product? Is there something wrong with a traditional Black family or couple advertising products?

Invisible woman, is there something wrong with you supporting businesses and products that don’t support you, value your dollars or acknowledge the fact that you have choices? Is there any self-love in that action? Isn’t this the message the Challenger has taught us over the years?

This begs the question – who is responsible for the content of these advertisements? The advertising agencies or the companies that hired them? Remember the scene from the movie Boomerang where they reveal the strange ad?  Didn’t he almost get fired because the client didn’t like it? What are the conversations like around the brainstorming table when the  invisible woman is missing or the time-old ‘token’ Black person is spotted in a group of 6-plus  people? Isn’t this the same question we asked about the blackface sweater? Do they have any respected African Americans on their staff?

Like Tiffany Haddish and Groupon tell us…vote with your dollars!! How would these companies react if they got letters from individuals and supporting organizations stating that we see a deficit in their  message. What would happen if the invisible woman appeared and said that it is apparent to her that you are not trying to appeal or speak or hire those whom look like my daughter,  mother, aunt or sister. How would they react if the invisible women and those that love and support her made their dollars invisible?

In this age of targeted marketing and on-line tracking how can  there be something wrong with her being visible in the commercials with African American men and children? Why don’t we see more African American families in commercials? How about a period of time where America is finally introduced to Black family commercials?

Invisible woman ,you and your sisters wield enormous economic power. The minute it gets out that you will be using your dollars with discretion that shot will be heard ’round the world from Walmart to Gucci. They all need our support to survive.

I know we just passed the busiest buying season of the year, but look and examine these commercials and other marketing mediums now. There is always next year, new resolutions and new beginnings. We have a choice of where we spend our dollars (even when others try to determine what we should buy). We exist in organizations that can voice our opinion.There is never a bad time to practice what the Challenger has been teaching for years – spend your dollars where you and your dollars are respected.

Invisible women and those who love her – Black lives and Black $$ matter. Put your money where her face and voice is! Black girls Rock!