“Here again the simplest technique is the best. We ask. The last question asks them to rate which value is the most important to them. Let’s move to ethnicity.”
Gladys advanced to a new chart as Walt continued. “We know that as of 2013 the US population is 63.7% white, not including white Latino or mixed. If that’s the most important value to the viewer, the software will show him the generic picture.”
Walt picked up. “We know that 12.2% of the popular is African-American and another 9.11% is mixed. African Americans are mostly Democrats. Only 11% voted for Bush in 2004. 10% voted Republican in 2014. Here is where it gets interesting. We took pictures of one hundred African-Americans. Half are popular movie or TV stars. One quarter are popular athletes and the last quarter are popular entertainers. We morphed them together to get one image. Then we took your generic CGI and morphed it with the image using 80% of you. We come up with this.”
Gladys advanced to a new picture. “Notice that your skin is darker, almost a nice tan. Your face has changed slightly around the lips, nose, hair, and eye color. The changes are subtle. The tie color has changed to black. The titles on the books have changed to Roots by Alex Haley and The Color Purple by Alice Walker. We have changed to slug line to read, ‘Power to the People.’ The picture shows you standing next to Coretta Scott King.”
Chan laughed. “Why not Al Sharpton?”
“We thought he might object,” Walt joked. “Besides, we don’t use living people. It just leads to law suits.”
Gladys advanced to another picture. “We know that Latinos make up 16.4 % of the population. We did the same thing with your picture using one hundred popular Latinos. The picture in the background shows you shaking hands with Enrique Peña Nieto.”
“Who?” asked Chan.
Walt and Galdys looked at each other. “The President of Mexico,” said Walt.
Gladys continued. “Your tie has changed color to green, white and red – the colors of the Mexican flag. Originally, we considered using a guayabera, but we thought that went too far.”
“What’s a gay bera?” asked Ted. “Is that something to do with gay rights?”
“Guayabera,” corrected Gladys. “It’s a Mexican dress shirt. The lapel pin is still an American flag. The trophy has changed to a soccer player.”
“These things seem like stereotypes,” said Chan. “Aren’t they offensive?”
“They would be if taken out of context. Here they are very subtle.”
“We must not discount the oriental voters. They make less than five percent of the popular but they are important.”
Gladys advanced to a new photograph. “You will notice slight changes in your photograph. The tie has changed to yellow. The lapel pin is now a Ying and Yang symbol. The trophy is now a karate trophy. There is a picture of you standing next to Bruce Lee.”
“Gender is our next consideration,” said Walt. “There were over 158.6 million females in the United States in 2009. The number of males was 151.4 million. At age 85 and older, there were more than twice as many women as men.”
Gladys advanced to a new photo. “Research has shown that women prefer v-shaped bodies with a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.9-1.0 and a chest-to-waist ratio of around 1.33. Here you will notice we have broadened your shoulders and reduced your waist line.”
Chan laughed. “You mean I have been wasting my time dieting and going to the gym?”
Gladys continued. “Women are subconsciously attracted to power. Running for President certainly eludes power but so does money. We have changed your watch to a very expensive one. Your suit too. Your wedding ring now has a diamond in it. The ring is back on your right hand. The shoes are expensive.”
“Most women don’t like body hair,” said Walt. “We have removed any body hair except on your head.”
“I thought the suit hid all that hair,” protested Chan.
Walt smiled. “We removed excess hair from your knuckles, the back of your hand, your ears and nose.”
Chan sighed. “I guess I didn’t realize how much hair I had.”
Gladys picked up, “Women also prefer taller men. You will notice that we lowered the background in the picture to make you appear taller. We also raised your chair by three inches and lengthened your legs. We added three inches to your torso.”
Walt interrupted, “Now is a good time for us to mention some additions to your staff.”
Ted perked up. “Oh?”
Walt smiled. “Don’t worry, they’re included in our price.”
Gladys advanced to a photograph of five people, two men and three women. The gentleman in the center is the team leader. He is five foot eight and the tallest of the bunch. The other man is five six. Two of the women are five four and this woman is five two. They will stand next to you in public. At six feet, you will appear to tower over them. We’ll talk more about them later.”
Walt continued. “Women prefer a proud facial look over a smile, so we changed your expression to one that is less smile and more pride.”
Chan pointed at the picture. “You changed my jaw line too.”
Gladys answered. “Yes. Women like a chiseled jaw look and longer hair.”
“So what happens when people see me in person?” asked Chan.
“We are talking about millions of voters, most of whom will never ever meet you in person,” Walt answered.
“And what about public appearances?” asked Ted.
“Those shots are never quite clear enough and are usually brief,” answered Gladys. “We’ll advise you in your public appearance based on the audience who will attend.”
“Let’s move on to religion, shall we?” suggested Walt.
Gladys advanced to a new photo. “Catholics make up nineteen percent of the population. They’re split fairly equally between the two parties. White evangelicals tend to favor conservative candidates. Secular voters are increasingly Democratic.
Walt picked up as Gladys advanced to a new photograph. “This what Catholic voters will see. The lapel pin is a fish symbol. The tie is gold and white, the colors of the Vatican City flag. The trophy has been replaced with a crucifix.”
“Why isn’t there a Bible on the bookcase?” asked Ted.
Walt smiled. “Catholics don’t read the Bible.”
Gladys continued, “Protestants do however.” She advanced to a new picture. “Now the Bible is on the shelf. The crucifix is replaced with a plain cross. The lapel pin is also a cross.”
“What about the Jews?” asked Ted.
“Jews don’t vote on the religious value unless the candidate is Jewish. They will always vote for a Jewish candidate.”
“What about Muslims?” asked Chan.
“Muslims make up less than one percent,” answered Gladys. “We don’t worry about them.”
Walt picked up. “We know that 14.2% of the population is African-American. This includes those who identify as ‘black only’ and as mixed black. The Democratic candidate for president over the five presidential elections since 2000 has averaged 91% of the Black vote, with 8% on average going to the Republican candidate. Only 11% voted for Bush in 2004. 10% voted Republican in 2014.”
Here is where it gets interesting. We took pictures of one hundred African-Americans. Half are popular movie or TV stars. One quarter are popular athletes and the last quarter are popular entertainers. We morphed them together to get one image. Then we took your generic CGI and morphed it with the image using 80% of you. We come up with this.”
Gladys brought up a screen with a picture of Chan.
To be continued.
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