MARS has added a new “spokescandy” to its lineup of cartoon characters.
The company released a statement saying: “Designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity, our newest member is known for her earnest self-expression. Keen self-awareness, authenticity and confidence are the driving forces behind Purple’s charm and quirky nature. She joins the legendary cast of M&M’S characters, who recently were given a refresh with updated looks and more nuanced personalities.” (The brand gave the Green candy a makeover this past January to make her appearance less “sexy.”)
As if that weren’t enough balderdash, Jane Hwang, Global Vice President at Mars Wrigley, stated: “Mars is thrilled to debut the newest member of the M&M’S cast of characters to the world. There is so much about our new spokescandy that people can relate to and appreciate, including her willingness to embrace her true self – our new character reminds us to celebrate what makes us unique. Our purpose story is just getting started and the introduction of our newest M&M’S spokescandy is the next chapter, as the brand continues to delight fans with fun in a way only M&M’S can.”
I, for one, am thrilled that Purple is willing to embrace her true self and can’t wait to hear what the spokescandy has to say. I think I know what her true “purpose story” will be: embracing wokeness in a shameless display of virtue-signaling to deflect from the fact that the company contributes to the obesity epidemic by peddling a vast array of candy and chocolates to kids and adults alike.
MARS is introducing Purple via a song and music video titled “I’m Just Gonna Be Me,” in which the character is repeatedly referred to as a “she.” This has led many folks to speculate that the company might opt to out her as a lesbian in a later ad, though her sexuality is not addressed in the video. Because, apparently, small, candy-coated chocolates just taste better to us when we know they are homosexual.
Seeking to up its street cred, MARS also recently partnered with Lil Nas X, a rapper who once paused a show and told his audience from backstage he needed a minute or two because he was taking a “mean shit.” (Perhaps he had eaten too many M&M’S.) Lil Nas X has also written children’s books-- and sold “Satan Shoes” sporting a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of actual human blood. A veritable Renaissance man! (Tragically, the shoes sold out almost immediately after they were introduced.)
Less sexy and more tolerant, accepting and inclusive? That is just what we need from our candies! But, how does Purple’s “earnest self-expression” and “keen self-awareness” manifest itself? Oh, I bet I know…wink, wink, nudge, nudge! (She might melt in her hand, not in her mouth!) I’m sure she’s self-accepting and self-inclusive, if you know what I mean. And, really, isn’t that the most important attribute in a candy? I know if my small, chocolatey confection isn’t self-aware I’m not going to ingest it!
Let’s hope Purple does turn out to be a lesbian. I’m sure many fans will petition MARS to make it so. But, if the company truly wants to be inclusive, there are many other colors that have been sadly—and systemically-- left out of its stable of characters…colors that could represent many progressive ideas and ideals. Granted, there are not as many colors, hues, and tints as there are genders, yet MARS could do so much more to battle the white, male, heteronormative, Christian nationalist patriarchy that is currently threatening to destroy our democracy and overwhelm the global confectionery industry. To wit: Fuchsia- could represent those in the atheist anogendered community (AAC). Ecru could proudly represent Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs). Mauve could represent those courageously fighting the stigma baselessly attached to polyamorous interspecies relationships. The possibilities are endless—and sweet!
Do sugar coat it, but don’t give it to us straight.
That’s just what MARS has done.