Female M&Ms’ change to less-sexy footwear riles some

The brown M&Ms slight change from a higher stiletto heel to a lower, broader heel has angered some, including Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson.

The brown M&M’s slight change from a higher stiletto heel to a lower, broader heel has angered some, including Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson.

Recently, M&M announced that they plan to redesign their personified M&M’s used in advertising in order to make the characters, especially the female ones, more “current” and “representative of our consumer,” according to Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America. The green M&M now wears shoes instead of go-go boots and the brown M&M has lower, more sensible heels rather than her previous taller, stiletto  heels. 

 Disney is also joining in on the character update by putting Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit instead of the traditional skirt Disney fans are accustomed to. This change will only apply to the Disneyland Paris theme parks for their 30th anniversary. The designer also added that the pantsuit is in honor of Women’s History Month. 

 There are some who are very unhappy with these changes, most notably conservative political commentators Candace Owens and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Speaking of Minnie Mouse’s pantsuit, Owens complained, “They’re taking all these things that nobody was offended by…and get rid of them and destroy them. They’re trying to destroy the fabric of our society.” 

 Carlson expressed his displeasure with the green M&M’s footwear change, finding it made the character less sexually appealing. “Carlson went on to argue this makeover is all part of a woke conspiracy to quench the sexual desire he assumes many of his viewers previously felt for the talking candies,” Grayson Quay of The Week wrote. 

 Carlson went on a rant about how “leading women wear sexy boots” and “the brown M&M has transitioned from high stilettos, to lower block heels. Also less sexy.”

 “M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them,” Carlson railed. “That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity. They’ve won.”

 However, many find Owens’ and Carlson’s anger puzzling. “They’re being very weird being mad about the desexualized versions of the [characters],” Olympic Heights junior Ashley Pereria said, implying that no one should be fantasizing over M&M’s.

 “This has no effect on me or anyone I know,” OH junior Roberto Stanziale commented while agreeing that the changes in question are a nod to political correctness. “I think the reason why people are mad about the de-sexualization of these company characters is because the companies are giving into political correctness that everybody is supposed to be neutral. I do think people are justified for being mad about the changes because this political correctness movement to make everybody neutral has gotten out of hand.”

 OH AICE Global Perspectives teacher Mr. Michael Taylor says, “…ordinarily the design changes made little difference to people. Companies rebrand all the time, but now this has been politicized and used as a weapon it takes on a higher meaning.” 

 Taylor believes that “Carlson and Owens both suffer from confirmation bias. They have a belief that there is some serious conspiracy at work in America and across the world to de-gender our society and so something like this confirms their pre-existing beliefs. I have no idea what the intentions of the companies were, but I imagine it was more about inclusivity and modernization than any conscious effort to push an agenda.”

 People who disagree with the redesign choices’ perspective jumps to a wide conclusion if it’s expressed. “Honestly, the only way I can even begin to understand their outrage is when I take the stance of someone who wants to be outraged,” Taylor added. “We’re talking about a place where sweets have gender and an anthropomorphic cartoon mouse is a threat to society! I prefer to save my outrage for when there is something to be upset about.”