Real American

I am uploading the final website here. The website is intended to present the company and its product line, ‘Real American’. The experience of going through the website has been created deliberately to evoke the sense of cognitive dissonance in the user. Initially, the website seems real enough, with the content reading like legitimate copy that you would find on a new startup’s website, with their mission, and goals in introducing a new line of products that are ‘equal’. It’s only when we get to the products pages that you begin to find that the line is actually not a new line of toys, but part kits that you can buy to subvert your own ‘white’, ‘urban’, ‘upper/middle class’, ‘neoliberal’ toy brands, with parts and accessories for gender, race, beliefs, etc. The stories page, however, is where the “front” totally breaks down: the stories that accompany all the character part kits are all American stereotypes of other cultures, thus completing the dissonant effect through satire: what was meant to equalize and inculcate value by subverting current dominant toy brand paradigms instead does the opposite by promoting you to use your new “equal” parts to create the standard conventional stereotypical narratives. It is here that I wanted the criticality of the piece to shine through, and raise the question: even with the materials and forms of equality that we have in American society, the narratives that we construct are still fraught with assumptions and a true lack of understanding of, in (postmodern critical theory lingo) ‘Others’ – in fact, our very definitions of stereotypes are not just isolatable to things like race, gender, etc., but also to our ideas of freedom, equality of opportunity, making it, in other words, the ‘american dream’.1 2 3 4 5 6 7


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