Facebook user Shady Ayman Noor’s post negatively commenting on a new North Coast compound’s marketing campaign has spread like wildfire on social media. Indeed, the post received thousands of comments, and a lot of engagement.
The post basically condemns this North Coast compound for using non-Egyptian models that are “white, freckled and blue-eyed” on an “Egyptian compound advertisement that’s only targeting an Egyptian audience.”
Noor argues in his post that such marketing campaigns reflect the presence of “a racist society that views lighter skin as a sign of beauty and wealth, whilst perceiving darker skin as [something possessed by the] lower class…[it is a] dirty complexion.”
This is not the first time that compounds in Egypt and the Middle East use a specific ‘look’ or a certain outer appearance to promote themselves as exclusive.
Who can forget the TV advertisements (video below) for a compound located in the 6th of October area, where the main selling point was the fact that not everyone qualifies to live and/or own property in said compound? The advertisement basically featured a bunch of people getting interviewed by a compound’s employee, and then getting rejected for not meeting classist and racist standards.
The truth is -whether such compounds like it or not- Egyptians are not all rich, Egyptians are not all white, and Egyptians are not all fluent English speakers.
Factually speaking, whiteness, straight hair, and colored-eyes being sold as the ideal standard for beauty and desirability, reflect an epoch of European/Western history that was colonial, racist, and classist. Accordingly, the ‘West’ itself has been starting to steer away from this whole ‘whiteness as beauty’ thing, with big international brands starting to have much more inclusive marketing campaigns and strategies.