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Tide Thinks Your Little Girl Is A Big Ol’ Lesbian Because She Likes To Play With Blocks

Tide’s new “Hoodies & Cargo Shorts” commercial is all about a prissy mom’s squeamishness with her daughter’s tomboyish tendencies. But in case you missed the subtext: Pssst! The mom is worried her daughter is a L-E-S-B-I-A-N! The gay blog Queerty thinks Tide might be “lampooning” the Stepford mom’s behavior — and that’s probably a little of it — but this doesn’t read as satire to me. Advertising, as you know, is meant to connect with people by tapping into their deep-seated beliefs and/or fears. Nothing just “happens” in a commercial, including fanning the flames of homophobia. To me, the “Hoodies & Cargo Shorts” Tide ad is aimed at moms (the demographic most likely to buy Tide laundry detergent) with socially conservative/bigoted leanings who really would be concerned their daughter is a lesbian if she wasn’t a girly-girly Pinkalicious freak. Parents do start freaking out about gender norms — which dictate little girls like Disney Princess and little boys like building car parks with blocks — at this little girl’s age. Enforcing those gender norms at a young age are totally absurd, of course: I was a mega-tomboy up until 8th grade and now I’m as stereotypically feminine and heterosexual as they come. People are what they are. But hey, who cares about facts if it sells some detergent? I am sure Tide is penning the inevitable “We are so surprised, we didn’t mean to offend anyone!” statement as we speak. [Queerty]

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