Sometimes, brands come up with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
For example, Mars Wrigley.
The company that gave the world Snickers was on the receiving end of a lot of snickers last week when it announced a ‘refreshed’ brand for its M&M’s candy.
A brand that will offer a more ‘modern take’ on its iconic candy-coated characters.
A brand that will emphasize the importance of ‘self-expression and the power of community through storytelling.’
Not to mention inclusivity and unity.
Sounds sweet, right?
I mean, I'm non-binary so anything that advances representation appeals to me.
So how do the more inclusive M&M's look?
Here are the M&M's as we know them:
And here are the inclusive ones:
Yeah, the difference is pretty, uh, subtle.
But let's set that aside for a moment.
Here's why this isn't resonating with me.
M&M’s are candy.
They are already inclusive.
They have different color shells, for one.
Some have peanuts.
Some have fudge brownie.
Some have pretzels.
If that isn't diversity and inclusivity, I don't know what is.
The second issue I have is that the changes to the characters strike me as relatively minor and kind of arbitrary.
I had to look a couple of times before I could discern how these M&M’s were more inclusive.
The main thing that stuck out was footwear.
The green M&M is not wearing go-go boots anymore, which I guess makes it easier to run in an action movie, but overall the changes do not really speak to inclusivity or diversity from where I sit.
But others have accused Mars Wrigley of slut-shaming the green M&M because the company took away the boots.
I cannot believe I am typing this, but a candy-chocolate is celebrated for being sex positive.
Behold exhibit A (although, if you think about it, isn't a chocolate eating chocolate cannibalism?):
And this has been the conversation over the past week: is the green M&M being punished for her healthy libido as part of a mandate to address sexism or...
I don't know.
And I don't know who this campaign is geared to, how it is relevant, how it will be impactful, why it exists.
Unless the goal was to get us talking about a green M&M's sexuality.
In which case... uh, bravo?
Or maybe it was intended to give right-wing pundits something to complain about, such as the perils of 'wokeness' or how M&M's no longer appeal to them sexually, or something.
In which case, ew.
I want to reiterate I am all for anything that promotes empathy, inclusivity, and diversity.
But this strikes me as the wrong way to go about it.
I don't need M&M's to represent me as non-binary.
I just want them to be what they have always been: impossible to stop eating.
And to be conveniently available at my local store when I need them (I am looking at you, peanut butter ones).
These are important commitments and we should be talking about them.
Not the fashion choices or sexuality of the M&M icons.
Am I making too much of all this silliness?
But it strikes me as a missed opportunity to promote inclusion and diversity.
And it unnecessarily complicates how I satisfy my sweet tooth.