It’s time to counter hegemony

By: Kayla Hunt, Columnist 

Hegemony is the type of power exerted by elites in the absence of overt forces. What allows hegemony to occur? Hegemony occurs simply because society allows it to; we accept the elite’s beliefs and values.

Now, we most likely do not explicitly accept their beliefs; but we do so implicitly because the ideas presented by elites are constructed as normal, as common sense.

Recently, Dove posted an ad on Facebook that has left people shellshocked. The ad basically implied that by using their product, your skin will be left smoother than if you were to use any other product. However, that was not the only implication. Dove also implied that having smooth skin equates to having white skin.

People are appalled that a company like Dove would release an ad with underlying tones of racism or discrimination. Dove is known for partaking in societal issues and reform; the most predominant one being enhancing self-confidence and self-love in women.

People are appalled because they would have never thought that Dove, the company behind the Real Beauty campaign, would imply that being white is what it means to have beautiful, clear, soft and smooth skin. However, there are many people that are not taken aback by this ad that was released.

Some have been pointing out multiple occasions where Dove has implied that white skin is the dominant skin, the social norm. It has not only been seen in ads, it has been seen on the very LABELS of products; so this ad that was just released was not a rare occurrence, it has been very prevalent and overlooked.

But why is that? Why has attention never been brought to it before? Dove is the perfect example of an hegemonic company; a company that exerts power that is widely accepted by the masses, by us.

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