Companies are back at it with the Pride nonsense

From glitter cereal to whatever Target is doing, we’ve launched an ongoing rating of this year’s crop of rainbow capitalism

It is a universally acknowledged truth that a corporation in want of some goodwill and cold-hard cash in the month of June will release a Pride collection.

Whether it’s pronoun-embroidered jean jackets, rainbow shows or glitter cereal, the annual onslaught of Pride-themed products is more certain in life than death and taxes. With the turning of the calendar page comes this year’s annual slew of rainbow, glitter and capitalism here to take our money or at least convince us that corporations care about LGBTQ2S+ rights, despite, you know, not actively doing anything to stop the wave of legislation threatening the lives of trans kids. 

This year, TikTok users have been doing the good work of calling out some truly vile offerings, with Target in particular drawing particular ire.

https://www.tiktok.com/@dinonuggets.jpg/video/6957961051178683654?is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6891259809896056326809896056326

But what is the worst of the worst of rainbow capitalism? Here are some of this year’s most egregious Pride collections, rated.

And don’t worry, we’ll keep this list up-to-date as the glitter rolls in.

Kelloggs “Together with Pride” cereal

Nothing says “gay rights” like cereal, apparently. 

The cereal is literally just fruit loops in the shape of hearts, with edible glitter. If you’re already worried about your glitter intake this Pride season, you can add cereal to your list of concerns. 

The box is making reactionaries mad online about showing kids pronoun options, so that is a win I guess. And the company will donate $3 from every box to GLAAD, the queer and trans media watchdog and advocacy group. That is likely more money going to an LGBTQ2S+ organization than a lot of these other Pride releases. 

🌈🌈🌈  out of 5.

Levi’s 

Tragically, we did not get a repeat of the iconic denim chaps offered in last year’s Levi’s Pride collection, but this year brought its own share of discourse.

The popular denim brand’s 2021 Pride offerings include a lot of what you’d expect: Jean jackets, T-shirts and jeans. This year, many products feature they/them pronouns and allusions to gender beyond the binary with slogans like “all pronouns, all love,” which is a win! But shortly after the collection’s announcement, the industrious TikTok lesbians quickly found a flaw in the rainbow denim project.

@gingerpeaches

for the PRIDE collection levi’s? k #pride

♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman

Turns out the customization option for the Pride merch didn’t allow the word “lesbian,” flagging it as inappropriate. Levi’s quickly reversed course, though my dream of a jean jacket officially embroidered with “dyke” is still unobtainable.

Oh well. The jackets are still cute and I will admit I respect the rainbow bucket hat. 

🌈🌈🌈🌈 out of 5.

Vans

Anyone who was once a closeted teen lesbian knows how important Vans shoes are to the culture, and the skateboarding shoe brand’s annual rainbow drop was hotly anticipated by young teen me.

This year’s Pride collection is simple, mixing rainbows with the classic shoe styles. It’s not trying too hard and it’s not actively offensive, but it’s also not doing a lot.

🌈🌈 out of 5.

Disney

Disney will barely give us queer characters at all, but apparently we can get a rainbow Marvel shirt. Progress!

Various products from Disney’s Pride shop.

Credit: Disney.com

🌈 out of 5.

Funko Pop

Apparently the company made “a donation” of an undisclosed amount to the It Gets Better Foundation. That doesn’t make up for whatever this is.

0 out of 5.

Mariah Carey

She’s an icon to the gays and now she’s ready to take even more of our money. 

Including items like the “Throw Some Shade” fan and an oversized rainbow body T-shirt that wouldn’t be out of place at a discount Florida resort, the Mariah Carey Pride collection veers into so-bad-it’s-good territory.

You know there are millions of twinks out there, credit cards in hand, foaming at the mouth at the chance to get a pair of butterfly bike shorts, or a baseball cap with “MARIAH” printed in rainbow letters. 

Honestly? 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 out of 5.

We stan a legend who knows her audience. 

UNO

The classic family card game that’s getting a truly wild Lil Yachty film adaptation is already filled with rainbow colours. So how do you even show that this is not simply UNO, it’s gay UNO? Well, apparently it’s putting a rainbow on the back and partnering with the It Gets Better Project.

https://twitter.com/ItGetsBetter/status/1392181979978866692?s=20

Draw two and gay rights now!

🌈 out of 5.

Target

The TikTokers were right—this is a struggle.

One of the various items for sale as part of Target’s Pride collection.

Credit: Target.com

I fear for every young gay teen whose well-meaning great-aunt is going to buy them anything from the Target Pride collection

And a special shoutout must be made to the retailer’s pet section this Pride month, where you can purchase an “Ally” bandana and rainbow poop bags for your dog. And while I mock, I will admit I want that rainbow tutu that says “I LOVE MY FAMILY” for our cat.

Part of Target’s pet Pride collection.

Credit: Target.com

🌈 out of 5.

Senior editor Mel Woods is an English-speaking Vancouver-based writer and audio producer and a former associate editor with HuffPost Canada. A proud prairie queer and ranch dressing expert, their work has also appeared in Vice, Slate, the Tyee, the CBC, the Globe and Mail and the Walrus.

Read More About:
Culture, Power, Identity, Blog, Pride

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