Racial Objectification In Travel Advertisement

Racial Objectification In Travel Advertisement

A commentary on an inadequate ad

As I browsed through the internet, looking for travel ads, I came across some rather offensive ads that use stereotypes to attract travelers.Thus, prompting me to reply in this manner.

The image titled “The dancing Hawaiian girl at your service,” retrieved from the Pinterest webpage under the sub-category of racial objectification, is a marvelous example of an advertisement piece that seeks to acquire the interest of potential tourists. The image portrays a nearly naked Hawaiian woman lying on a beach in a rather seductive pose that clearly targets male audiences and offers them a sexualized welcome to Hawaii. This piece unintentionally highlights the objectification of Hawaiian civilians, and of the female body, as a commodity that may be easily accessed to satisfy the capricious desires of a capitalistic system.

The rather indecent characterization of this woman is based on stereotyped beliefs that propose that Hawaiian girls are merely tourist attractions, willing to offer themselves up to privileged foreigners. In this distorted system she is but a commodity that may be used and discarded at whim. In the picture she even embodies a form of nonverbal communication that suggests that she accepts this system that she is subjected to. She’s smiling, sitting seductively and holding what appears to be a red carnation lei that would serve as a welcoming gift for the male tourist. This type of pictorial manipulation only serves to reinforce the prejudiced ideas that Hawaii is full of submissive, giggling hula girls who are always ready to entertain others.

Although Hawaii is officially a U.S state it is often treated as if it were some far off exotic land, rich in readily accessible goods. Its tropical climate and rich history, involving indigenous Polynesians, may be contributing factors that encourage this fictitious idea. Yet, one may argue that our white-dominated capitalist nation simply wishes to create an illusion that Hawaii is distant and exotic so that more profit may be yielded from travels to this particular location. Spending thousands in a national trip may sound outrageous, but doing the same in order to travel to an eccentric and far-off place sounds far more reasonable.

By portraying the state of Hawaii with the usage of images such as the one previously discussed the nation is not only able to make financial profits but is also able to disguise the various problems that Hawaii is facing. As one of the poorest states in the nation it is clear that Hawaii is facing problems that are far too complex to be solved by dancing hula girls. However, as we continue to portray Hawaiians as a separate and commodified population it then becomes difficult to place their concerns ahead of our economic gains. W.E.B du Bois once stated that “to be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships”. This is a statement that unfortunately describes the current situation Hawaiians are in. It may be the case that in order to revolutionize this system of Hawaiian objectification our values concerning economic progress need to be modified, and this is a change that most likely will not occur any time soon.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?


This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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