Plenty of sources have been buzzing about the new 2013 ad campaign put out by South African based margarine company, Flora. Promoting itself as a healthier alternative to butter, it is geared towards those looking to ‘protect’ their hearts. The ad campaign is supposed to feature human hearts in various forms—china, glass—being attacked by bullets donning different slogans. The most offensive “bullet” was inscribed with the line “UHH, DAD, I’M GAY.” The tag line at the bottom reads, “You need a strong heart today.” This ad endorses the notion that a child’s ‘coming out’ is a traumatic, possibly heart-attack-inducing, event. Of course, the negative imagery of a bullet and a china heart makes the message all the clearer: having a gay child is heartbreaking. This made me reflect on Fausto-Sterling’s (2000) section about parents and the acceptance—or rejection and surgical correction—of their intersex children. The loss of support from one’s family is the most tragic results of being ‘different’ in some way. This ad encourages silence where there should be none; coming out to one’s family should be a cause for celebration, not dread. This campaign could have been much more creative; thoughts on better “bullets” aimed at fragile, human hearts?
Nichols, James. “Flora Margarine’s Anti-Gay Ad Sparks Controversy, Parent Company Unilever Speaks Out.” HuffingtonPost.com. September 3, 2013. Accessed from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/flora-margarine-anti-gay-ad_n_3861495.html September 10, 2013.