S&S has just heard from Alison Katz, who has sent the following thoughts on the site, its mission statement and one of its "Visual History" commentaries. Her thoughts are published below in their entirety.
I like the mission statement because it summarizes the goals and what “stereotype & society” is working on achieving. This is an important website that should not be overlooked. S&S teaches people to recognize the assumptions we carry around in our minds with the purpose of breaking the stereotypes down into determining the root cause of where it came from in the first place. Realizing that our assumptions stay with us and can affect how we treat people is an important part in the process of stopping pigeon holing people and the beginning of seeing people as unique individuals. S&S describes politics in a way that gets the reader to consider that the purpose is distracting our society from thinking about what they are seeing. S&S attempts to break down history to get people to think about how we are taught things and makes people wonder who picks what we get taught. My favorite quote from this website is, “Within each of us the history of dominant ideas has left indelible marks. Nowhere is this truer than in the stereotypes that form and interfere with our capacity to comprehend the world we live in.” This quote shows how difficult it is for people to separate themselves from their own biases and preconceived notions of the way things are for people before you even meet them. I do not watch the news often but I do spend time pondering where the truth lies within the news; what the news is not reporting instead of paying attention to the selective information they choose to report.
Something I found interesting was the commentary on the Estee Lauder advertisement. “What makes you different is what makes you beautiful” is the slogan written with the advertisement. I think this is a beautiful statement because I think it is close to the reality of the world which is everyone is unique and I think differences should be embraced not negatively judged. The commentary on this ad was over-analyzed in my opinion. The commentary stated, “Stereotypes of difference are also embedded in the way the models are posed. While the white model confidently looks out at the admiring eyes of the viewer, the black model’s secondary position is engraved in her envious admiration of her white counterpart as portrayed in the original ad, above.” I did not see this when I looked at the ad. When I looked at the ad, I concentrated on the words and the fact that one of the models had her bra showing and the other model was covered up. From reading the ad, I thought the makeup was for people who needed some cover up for a pimple but I thought the makeup was targeted for a crowd of people who are happy with the way they look; for people who accept their appearance. I did not see anything racially stereotypically. I thought the name of the makeup, Individualist Natural Finish Makeup and the slogan were nice and embraced a person accepting themselves for who they are; a unique individual who would not look anything other than natural once they finished putting on the makeup.