Have any of you heard the blogger buzz about this online Motrin ad that offended "babywearing moms" (that is, mothers who believe in keeping their infants close to their bodies in a sling, for bonding reasons)?? Click this link to view this online ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO6SlTUBA38.
Apparently, both Twitter and the mom bloggers who "babywear" were losing it over this ad, so much so that they were able to get the ad killed in like, one day! That's right--an online ad--killed due to the outrage of mothers who were offended by it.
This "news story" was all over the Internet today, and when I flipped open my local paper, The Chicago Tribune, this morning there was an article on the 3rd page about the Motrin ad/babywearing controversy.
I bring this up because we food allergy parents and advocates could learn something from this. After all, offending the notion of babywearing, in my humble opinion, does not pose the same risk to those kids as bad media attitudes towards food allergies does to ours.
I can think of so many mass media examples that send up deadly food allergies as comical or even ridiculous, attitudes received by millions of viewers and having very serious ramifications. For example, I was appalled by a scene in The Nancy Drew Movie, of a couple of summers ago. About halfway through, Nancy performs an emergency tracheotomy --using a pen-- on a girl who was allergic to peanuts and had "passed out" after kissing a boy who ate peanut butter cookies at a party. It was treated in the film as humorous example of Nancy's all-around intelligence and prowess. Imagine trying to console my severely peanut-allergic 7-year-old after seeing this scene. It was no fun. Obviously the "kissing" angle referred to the tragic true story of the Canadian teen who died after kissing a boy who ate peanut butter.
In "Meet the Robinsons" a cartoon character's head explodes due to a peanut allergy--and that is also supposed to be funny. And wasn't there a Will Smith, Eva Mendes movie where he had food allergies and his face swelled up horrifically--garnering huge laughs, of course.
I'm sure there are many other examples, but the point is--we need to speak out when we see stuff like this or even negative or inaccurate news stories. Our kids' collective health can be affected by negative media images about food allergies. I know that FAAN wrote protest letters to the film studios about the Nancy Drew movie and "Meet the Robinsons" but I did not read a thing about this in my local paper.
As the babywearers proved, by speaking out we can affect what images we see in the media--and at a much greater benefit to our kids!