Do Girly Moms Hate Their Tomboy Daughters?
There’s a big debate brewing over a new commercial for Tide detergent that shows a prissy, pink cardigan-clad mother irritated by her tomboy daughter. The little girl plays quietly with blocks while while her clearly distraught mother explains: “Well, we tried the whole pink thing. Nope, all she wants to wear is hoodies. Hoodies and cargo shorts. Getting dirty.” She then turns to her daughter wearily: “Another car garage, honey? It’s beautiful.”
Turns out this 30-second spot has put countless moms into a tizzy (oh, and dads, too – we don’t want to be stereotypical here). People are shocked by the blatant gender stereotyping, with has viewers weighing in all over the blogosphere with tales of their own childhood woes (“I’m having flashbacks of growing up tomboy with my disapproving mother. Ugh“).
On the flip side of the coin are those who claim that this commercial is so obviously satirical, people need to get a grip. And I can’t say I disagree. The first time I watched it I’ll admit I was rather shocked (“That poor little girl!” was my first impression). Then I viewed it again and realized how crazy and neurotic the mom appears, and how innocent and care-free the little girl seems, and it occurred to me that they’re just trying to be funny. But that’s the key word here: “trying” (because, let me tell you, this 30-second spot certainly does not succeed in being humorous).
What I do find amusing, however, it how quick people are to attack the entire campaign. One website called Queerty explains how some argue that the commercial reinforces “lesbophobic” gender norms. Really?! Look, there’s no question about it – it’s a stupid commercial – but I personally think it’s a mere failed attempt at being satirical.