If you’re not a TV watcher, you may have missed the new Cheerios ad that is causing quite a stir.
It features a biracial kid and her white mom and black dad – gasp!
I would have loved to see ads like this when I was a kid – ads that showed a family that looked like mine. Never mind, I would love to see these ads now! It means someone cares to acknowledge that families (in this case) can look all different ways.
It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in the world around them: ads, school curriculum, professionals, role models, etc. It lets them know they are not alone, and it teaches all kids that not everyone is the same and that we all matter. We learn what and who has value not just by commission but also by omission. If we did a better job at this, we wouldn’t have the backlash that Cheerios is experiencing because of this ad.
Clearly we still have long way to go. But if we start doing a better job now, maybe my daughter’s generation will expect these kinds of representations, rather than write blogs about them because they are so rare.
copyright 2013 Annemarie Shrouder
Author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity and inclusion.