Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Elizabeth Sundermann

Second Advisor

Ellen Moore


This paper explores the connection between historical soap advertisements and perceptions of race. It begins by exploring the history of advertising, beauty, and the Industrial Revolution. It analyzes four advertisements, three from the late nineteenth century and one from the early twenty-first century. It discusses the link between racial perceptions and acceptance of “The White Man’s Burden.” The focus of this paper is on soap brands owned by the contemporary company Unilever.