Death to M&M's | Bella Posel
You know them, you eat them, you love them (or they spark unbelievable rage). Either way, they are on time out- that’s right, the M&M mascots are being benched. Following outrage over the M&Ms makeover last January (in which all the M&Ms got new shoes and a personality) the recent purple M&M in honor of International Women’s Day was the last straw for many consumers. While this ire might seem nonsensical, many twitter users and noted conservative Tucker Carlson are able to shine some light on the true reason why these humanized M&Ms are so polarizing- they are just too sexy! Around this time last year, Tucker Carlson ranted about what they took from Miss Green M&M, namely her gogo boots. “Woke M&Ms have returned,” he claimed on air during a bizarre rant about how the now sneaker-clad M&M was “less sexy.” Thank you Tucker! And luckily for all of us, he is back and this time critiquing the body of the “maybe lesbian” purple M&M. “There’s a plus-sized obese purple M&M,” Carlson continues. “That’s what we do,” he says on Fox News, sounding sad. It is worth noting the “obese” M&M is a peanut M&M and apparently a body positivity icon. Now, M&M feels the pressure to address their “beloved spokescandies.” In a tweet on January 23, they claim that “now we get it- even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing.” They bemoaned the controversy, stating that “we’re all about bringing people together.” Luckily, comedian and actress Maya Rudolph is willing to step into the (now lower) heels of these classic M&Ms as the new “Chief of Fun” as per the official M&M corporate twitter.
The future of millions of deviants’ sexual awakenings aside, one has to wonder about the end game of these increasingly bizarre culture wars. Is it helpful to our current political climate or indicative of some great, looming desire for censorship when even the much loved and deeply attractive green M&M is not allowed to seductively smile for the camera and sell chocolate to the youth of today? This continual, overblown outrage leads to censorship and bland compromise. The increasingly growing gap between leftist and conservative politics feels almost like a parody of real life. I open the news and read about mass shootings, women and trans people stripped of rights, and how “The Woke Agenda Finally Came For Our Sexy M&M’s” (from BuzzFeed News). From gas stoves causing asthma (NPR, “Why gas stoves quickly became part of the culture war”) to Ron DeSantis (NYT, “Ron DeSantis Likes His Culture Wars for a Reason”), from the medical to political to insane, we live in a climate of fighting. Guardian columnist Emma Beddington asks “Will the culture wars never end?” She describes recent gas stove debate as the result of Republican politicians who are “never ones to let the flame of a culture war go unfanned.” Jamelle Bouie for The New York Times describes the purpose of this manufactured outrage while discussing DeSantis’ campaign, saying “by leaning into high-profile battles as a culture warrior… DeSantis has made himself the hero of conservative elites… without so much as mentioning his radical and unpopular views.” It has even been suggested that the M&M stunt is simply to attract publicity for a superbowl twist (The Hollywood Reporter, People.com), illustrating the attention grabbing nature of these viral outrages.
Nonetheless, when Tucker Carlson is on Fox News railing about “kowtowing to China” before transitioning to these SJW M&Ms it can be hard not to feel despondent. It can be hard to know the right reaction to these intentionally polarizing, seemingly consuming culture wars. The endless barrage of hatred, anger, and accusations dominating so much media reads as a cut Parks and Recreation script rather than genuine news. It is hard to know where political culture is going to progress from here. One can hope for simple silence, for a refocusing on the policies of those in charge rather than how attractive (or gay) they find an M&M.