The Honest Company, Jessica Alba's "healthy lifestyle brand" that sells all sorts of family-oriented products, from diapers to sunscreen, recently released an ad that rides the coattails of the current presidential election. However, instead of trying to get folks out to vote or to support a particular candidate, The Honest Company went in an entirely different direction by saying that babies "don't see political affiliation. They don’t see red or blue.” According to The Honest Company, they only “see love.”
All I see are a bunch of dangerous platitudes.
The video shows ridiculously adorable children running into a room full of stuffed red elephants and blue donkeys. They're not wearing anything besides Honest Company diapers complete with a print of…red elephants and blue donkeys. All of this screams politics until the music starts up. "Why Can't We Be Friends" plays as the kids hug and play together. The ad is associated with a hashtag: #TheySeeLove.
This advertisement for diapers is not doing the one thing it should be doing: trying to sell me diapers. Instead, it's pissing me off. It's basically saying that babies and kids don't have any clue about politics. Instead, they only see love, and isn't that the best? No. No, it's not. Because right now, our country's legacy and future is hanging in the balance while we wait and see if we will have our first woman president or if we will somehow swear in a man with zero political experience and a track record of being a sexist, racist, Islamophobic bag of hair. Oh yeah, I should just see love instead. That will make this political headache go away. Awesome.
To equate being politically conscious with not caring about love doesn't even make sense. I am political because I love. I love my family, my friends, my country. And it is precisely because I love them that I want to see our country continue to grow and thrive.
The Honest Company's cheesy ad is naive at best and insulting at worst. To say that babies are doing it right because they're blissfully unaware of politics makes it seem like all of us—those invested in our country and its political leaders—are somehow wrong.
I think it's important to see political affiliation, Honest Company. Because those on one side want to strip away reproductive rights. Those same folks also prefer to take money away from programs aimed at helping children and families in need. And it is those same people who refuse to pass legislation—like mandated paid family leave—that would actually help families. So, excuse me if I say that not seeing political affiliation or red and blue doesn't sound like a great idea, especially when it comes to babies and families.
If parents really want to show their kids what love is, they'd ensure that their kids are involved in politics in some way at the local, state, and national levels. That they support and possibly even campaign for the partisan candidates that will protect and uplift families. While it's wonderful that The Honest Company produced a very diverse advertisement, showcasing babies of a variety of races, it's only lip service if they don't believe that some politicians have incredible biases against people of color that show in their harmful policies.
Sorry, Honest Company, but since my son was born, I've been teaching him to have convictions and beliefs, which means at almost 10, he is well aware of this nation's upcoming election. He is aware of the immense hatred and fear that fuels Donald Trump's candidacy. He also understands that this upcoming election can impact him in a very real way, even if he can't legally vote.