Where Are All The LGBTQ-Friendly Holiday Ads?


‘Tis the season to embrace everyone

It’s that most wonderful time of the year, when consumerism is equated with love, with family, with home, with safety, with proof of connection. And, you know, also with... heteronormativity and, more often than not, with whiteness.

All to say, where are the holiday ads that offer queer and non-normative gender representation?

In spite of the stratospheric growth of support for LGBTQ+ rights—including the fact that fashion corporations have started jumping on the Pride bandwagon, sponsoring Pride events, and releasing Pride collections during the month of June—the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in advertising the rest of the year is notable. Particularly during the holidays, the most important advertising time of the year, it is interesting to see how safe these brands play it—including those with decades-long commitments to the LGBTQ+ community.

Even brands who launched significant Pride campaigns this year have failed to indicate substantive LGBTQ+ inclusivity in their holiday advertising. Of course, holiday advertising traditionally features heteronormative, mostly white nuclear families in the tradition of the Cleavers no matter what's being sold—clothing, shoes, cars, home goods. If it's something you want, you can guarantee a white family, with a mom and a dad who look like they belong on a TV sitcom in the '70s, is going to be the one convincing you to buy it. 

The reasons for this are obvious: In the United States, heteronormativity is associated with safety, with family, with traditional values. Cis het people get to be the representative—and, in many ways, the guardians—of the holidays, a time of year which is itself a signifier of long-held cultural traditions. All of this is reflected by aspirational advertising. This is who you want to be, the ads say. Even if it's not who you are.

On the one hand, of course, it's important to point out that “you can’t tell by looking” that the people we see in ads are straight, cisgender, or even white. But that's certainly how the majority of them are being presented. And, within advertising, there are ways to signal LGBTQ+ inclusivity, and in the time of Trump, that signaling feels important on a fundamental level. Whether it’s featuring LGBTQ+ couples amongst other couples at a holiday gathering or models dressed more androgynously, there are clear ways to communicate queer-friendliness to a brand’s audience. 

For this holiday season, I looked at the holiday campaigns and current websites of brands that ran major Pride campaigns in 2017, to see how LGBTQ+ friendly they were committed to being year-round.

Doc Martens
Doc Martens wins the Holiday Pride competition by a landslide, by putting two women with very gay body language front and center on its website homepage. I look at this and see two women flirting at a party (and, let’s be honest, one of them is me). 

Of course, this is the kind of image that is likely to go above straight people’s heads, since it’s just feet, but I can’t knock Doc Martens on that front—pretty much all of their imagery is foot-centric. They rarely do full body shots. Also, it’s not my fault that straight people don’t know that Doc Martens are basically a queer closet staple. 

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.