not so subtly racist vintage magazine advertisement: the egg roll (1981)

This Bic Roller Pin advertisement appeared rather incongruously in a boring old beige 1981 issue of Vegetarian Times. The illustration caught my eye because it reminded me of MAD Magazine’s illustrations of the time and these are the kinds of illustrations I grew up on.

Not so subtly racist, eh? Is the target audience cross eyed Asian stereotyped waiters or the fascinated Joe and Jane Whitebread diners? I mean, is this pun supposed to pass as wordplay? Nice effort there, Bic ad copy writers of nearly 30 years ago.
And while I may miss actual illustrations rather than compu-sparkleturdery, I don’t miss this kind of baffling and commonplace ethnic stereotyping. This ad definitely reminds me of the pretty Goddamn racist “Ancient Chinese secret, huh?” Calgon commercial of the late 70s. This motherfucking commercial was a hit with all of the clueless semi-literate kids in every elementary school, where I grew up at least. “Ancient Chinese secret” was often woven in to the recess hatechant of “Me Chinese” by pre-pubescent lyricists- often accompanied by the good old making-slanty-eyes face.

For all of the carping about how wussified the United States is now and how vanilla PC the mainstream media has become, the alternative has already been considered- this brand of knuckle-dragging base ethnocentricity. So solly so solly.


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