Racial Advertising, Mixed Families and DSM Mission

Racial Advertising, Mixed Families and DSM Mission
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Cheerios Makes My Heart Healthy

Have you seen the new Cheerios commercial featuring a mixed family? It’s taken stereotypical racial advertising and given it a twist to include a representation of what more and more families look like. Including mine. The commercial opens with the most adorable little girl, who Alina proclaimed “that looks like ME!” upon seeing her image on my computer screen, and goes on to feature her white mom and black dad.

The commercial has been hotly debated and some people are very unhappy, even to the extent that comments have been disabled on the Youtube.

Here, take a look….

Racial Advertising: Can it be a good thing?

I don’t speak directly on race all that often at De Su Mama, but truth of the matter is, I don’t have to. Being a type of social media source, one which showcases my bicultural and interracial family on a regular basis, racial advertisement is the norm here. My husband and I aren’t of the same ethinicity, our children are growing up “mixed”, yet we still consider our family to be All-American. I have no idea if Cheerios’ intent was to focus their advertisement on mixed and bicultural families, but it certainly got me listening. And it sure did piss off a bunch of racists. Comments have been disabled on Youtube because of the protests. One tiny little biracial girl labeled with an image of LOVE is enough to piss off the best of the bigots, I suppose.

Let me be so very crystal clear – this Cheerios commercial is a huge deal to the mixed community. A national advertisement featuring a mother-daughter duo that are often presumed to not be related is huge. In addition, showcasing this family conducting regular All-American day-to-day stuff is what makes it brilliant. We’re just regular people, with wholesome qualities, middle class ambitions and good work ethics. We neither live in “the hood” or are “free spirited hippies”. We’re just a normal American family, trying to do best by our kids and build a legacy that they will be proud of. This commercial shows that not everyone is ready for us though.

DSM “Undercover” Mission

If you read my mission page, there won’t be a single reference of race. I believe in talking about race and parenthood (my favorite blog on the topic is Denene’s at MyBrownBaby.com), but doing so deliberately is not my mission here on De Su Mama. However, I am not so naive to think that race is obsolete on this blog. There is no way that it could ever be because of the way we look.

If we have ever spoken in real life though, I am not shy to say that De Su Mama has an “undercover” mission – one that is dear to my heart and what I believe to be a solution to racists and bigots. The “undercover” mission at De Su Mama is to just be – be good, be positive, be wholesome – AND BE MIXED. Viewers come to this blog from all over the place – they come from Pinterest to check out party posts and recipe ideas, they come from SpanglishBaby to see what an inspired bilingual mom is doing. They come from all over, and the first thing they see is my mixed family.

My voice will always be the same here at De Su Mama: positive and focused on love and legacy. While I know there are racists out there, I won’t pay them any mind. For the many white people being bigots, I’ve experienced Latinos and black people treat me the same way. And my family is filled with each – white people, Latinos, black folks – who love my kids and nurture our legacy. I would never minimize those relationships because of a bunch of jerks that are so disturbed by seeing an image of my daughter on television.

Para los Babies mas lindos del mundo,

I hope the world of advertising is changing. I hope you get a chance to see kids on tv that look like you. But, until then, you mama is focused on creating your image here – one full of love and brownness and beauty. As of today, I have no words for the experiences you will encounter that will try to tell you otherwise, but I hope your remember the words I speak here daily. You are loved, my children.

Te quiero por siempre,

Su Mama

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Girl, I deal with it everyday. It still amazes me the ignorance but I embrace it and do not ignore it. I show them that the sterotype they have implanted in their mind is not one that exists in this family.
    I loved the commercial. As an African American woman I know it’s true that African American males have the highest risk of Coronary Heart Disease. It’s just a fact.
    I truly only focused in on the fact that this was a bi-racial family and I’m sure immediacy everyone assumed that sweet child was not hers..I get that response almost EVERYTIME I am with my children.
    Great post..as usual and I’m proud to share it!

  2. And this ad angered people? It seemed sweet and natural, what’s the big deal? Kudos to Cheerios for making this ad. Some would say they did it to make more money, but they wouldn’t say anything about the ad if it was a all-white family. Personally, I would be more worried about the healt claim than I am about the mixed family. Maybe there should be more mixed families ads? Like families speaking different languages, intercultural families? Are there any ads on that? I am glad to see minorities finally being accepted into mainstream media. Thanks for mentioning this, Vanessa!

  3. Cheerios is targeting and trying to position themselves to a subset of the population to sell cereal.The marketers knew this would be the response, but to them, they measure success in dollars, not values. It’s not corporate America’s responsibility to instill values or address a social issue to this magnitude. For these reasons, I find the ad unethical.

    • Mixed race families are real families. And real families are not “social issues.” Portraying a normal, real family is not trying to “instill values.”

  4. Great post, Vanessa. Was hoping to see you address this. And bravo to Cheerios…every time I see an realistic representation of families in media, I applaud that company. I get so tired of seeing the same typical families shown in commercials etc (usually caucasian couples — and yes, this is coming from me as a white woman!). There is ALL kind of families, and it’s about time they are shown too. And shame on those sad people who forced the closure of the Cheerios comments and to those who behave this way in “real life” everyday.

  5. Kudos to Cheerios for telling the truth — that not all families look the same! Racists will always be mad when people of color are shown as ACTUAL people, not just stereotypes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s important.

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