The topic of inequality in the scrapbook industry is one that I address in my dissertation and I will have much more to say on the matter once I reach those sections of my dissertation in my Wednesday posts. A video that came across my desk Friday,however, has made this discussion more urgent. At the risk of alienating myself from the entire scrapbook industry, here it goes:
The video is from scrapbook.com and is called It’s Always Sunny in Here. I have watched it twice. It is quite clever, cute, and entertaining. Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update describes it best as “a combination of Glee and Mad Men in theme” and she is also correct that this video is a great example of viral marketing. That being said, I think we need to take a closer look at the messages being promoted in this particular advertisement.
Scrapbooking is one of those things white people like
The first time I watched the video, I got about half-way through and thought, “wow, that’s a lot of white people.” Seriously, thank you scrapbook.com for reinforcing the idea that scrapbooking belongs on Christian Lander’s blog, Stuff White People Like. Perhaps this is just the sociologist in me reading more into the video than necessary, but really, the casting director could not find one person of color to include in the video? After all, there were at least 15 people in the video. I think the worst part about the video is that the song in the video begins with “wonderful, colorful Christmas.” Yes, colorful in terms of many shades of cardstock, but clearly not colorful in terms of people. I know very little about scrapbook.com. Perhaps they were relying on family and friends to star in the video and did not really cast for parts. I could just give scrapbook.com the benefit of the doubt but I think this is symptomatic of a problem within the industry as a whole and must be addressed. I have always been frustrated by the fact that most of the scrapbooking celebrities are white and most of the layouts that get published are of white people when I know for a fact that people of color scrapbook, too.
Scrapbooking is your womanly duty
Beyond the issue of no racial diversity in the video, the video also does a really “good” job at promoting the idea that scrapbooking is a domestic task done by women. Yuck! I do not scrapbook out of womanly duty. Perhaps scrapbook.com is trying to be ironic? I don’t really have much else to say in this point at this time, but will come back to the issue of who scrapbooks and why as it relates to domestic duty in later posts.