Lane Bryant – Exotic African American Women

This print advertisement for women’s clothing store Lane Bryant depicts a woman of color modeling clothing termed “exotic.” The text reads, “Channel your natural instincts in this season’s hottest tribal trends. Make a statement with Batik and Ikat* patterns, bold sunset shades, and earthy accents of feathers, wooden beads, and leather. Exotic looks, inspired by nature.” The text, juxtaposed with the model, alludes to the exoticized and primitivized nature of the mediated black female subject.

*Batik and Ikat both designate primarily-Indonesian methods of dying cloth.


What does it mean to call someone (and specifically a woman) “exotic”?

On what sorts of Western cultural prejudices does this ad depend?

What does the juxtaposition of this model with the written text imply?

Our Funders