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Dirty Knees Look At Me: Racist/Sexist Ad?

by popfix 5 March 2009 2,883 views 13 Comments E-mail popfix

You’ve all heard the saying, “Chinese Japanese dirty knees look at these.” You know, the same saying said to every other Asian kid in the American Midwest heard while playing on the playground.

Well the same racist tormentors have grown up and have gone into the advertising industry, working on the ad below.

Apparently, all you need for good skin is to “swallow”–well, according to the brand, Imedeen.

Didn’t they think twice about the ad being both tasteless and messy (no pun intended)?

skinSource: Jezebel.com

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  • David said:

    Have you considered that the product is a tablet that people swallow?

    In any case, here’s the Contact Us page for Imedeen to clarify with the company itself.


  • Rudy Klapper said:

    I think that’s pretty self-evident…but still a poor choice of marketing.

  • Andrea Pappas said:

    The combination of text and image here (she appears to be lying on a bed, wearing lingerie or other intimate apparel) is *obviously* intended to refer to fellatio. The subtextual references to the way the word “swallow” (and the related “facial”) is used in the porn industry combined with images like this one makes the association particularly unavoidable. (Obviously they can’t use the more explicit images used to market porn here so they’ve had to settle for something suggestive instead.) I won’t even get into the way demeaning stereotypes of Asian women are deployed by this same industry–most of you know what I’m referring to. The information that the product is a tablet (and therefore must be “swallowed”) is in a much smaller font than the main text of the ad. The overall effect of the ad is to suggest that the way to have sexy, appealing skin is to perform certain types of sex acts on a regular basis. The marketing people missed the target here–the product is one they are trying to sell to women but the rhetoric of the ad is clearly set up to appeal to a male (heterosexual) audience. Sorry, guys–I’d avoid this product just because the ad is obnoxious.

  • Tracy said:

    I’m sure the same ad could be made with a white girl with beautiful white skin. Nothing racist about it, move on :)

  • Jojo said:

    Not sure why you would think the ad is racist. Is it because it has an Asian woman? Would it be racist if it was a white woman? A black woman? Do Asian women swallow more often than other women? Sorry I don’t get your point. And to compare it to a silly playground song is pretty retarded. “Racist tormentors”? Try naive, stupid kids being kids. Kids tease each other about anything and everything.

    Sexist? Well, yes of course. The company is obviously playing on words. They’re trying to be funny, trying to be a little controversial. That’s called advertising. Right or wrong, that’s how you get attention. Since I never heard of this company, you and other bloggers are just giving them exposure, which is exactly what the intention of the ad was. Ever hear the saying “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? You’re helping sell their product.

    And if you’re so enlightened, why stoop to their level and put in your own pun about it being messy? Right, “no pun intended”. Sure, because there were no other descriptions you could have used. What exactly is messy about the ad?

  • Borsonk said:

    So when any agency finally tries to use an Asian model, it’s an ad like this?
    give me a break

  • Jeremy H said:

    David, is your mom a customer of this product? I bet she likes to swallow these pills to make her skin looking beautiful. I have another way of making her skin beautiful. Lotion. I recommend the ones that protect her from the UV rays.

    I can understand why Asians are offended. There is an asphyxiation with Asian women and sex (even though not much will admit it) and if you put 2 and two together it just translate negatively.

    Like the 2 cops shooting the ape dead cartoon where they say, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” Who wrote the bill? And what racist connotation is associated with Black-Americans?

    Feel free to tell us that you feel comfortable standing next to a Black co-worker with a noose when you dress up as a executioner on your next Imedeen Halloween party.

    Get with it David. You are in denial along with your co-workers. Laugh behind closed doors if you like.

    And you coming on this forum calls that your PR department is desperate. Would you really have cared to come on to write this if it was passed work schedule? Swallow that.

    What? Older women needs to look ravishing too. Let me know if she needs help squirting it all over her face.

  • JC said:

    That. Is. Awesome. Not Racist. Definitely Sexist. Still Hilarious.
    grow up already.

  • lori said:


  • Lisa said:

    I’m glad some of you think it’s racist - it’s good to have people who are sensitive to that kind of thing out there and who help make sure nobody goes too far. And perhaps a lot of us are just disconnected from the issues the Asian community faces. But it’s really really difficult for me to kind of begin to see where the racism issue in this ad comes from.

    It’s not a good ad, it’s written as if for heterosexual men, and I couldn’t imagine as a woman being impressed by it. But is it racist? I find it difficult to believe so without being convinced that I would be reading race into an otherwise random fragment of life.

  • Henry said:

    Where was this seen?
    If this was in Hong Kong for instance it’d be very different.

  • sunny said:

    i don’t think it’s racist, but it’s extremely crude and too vulgar.

  • vivi said:

    That model is an old slut from Singapore, she was chosen for the ad because of that.

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