The Super Bowl high has officially lifted, especially if you live outside of the Green Bay Packers’ hometown of Wisconsin. While the media dissects many of the commercials—which ones were hits, which were misses—some are up in arms over one of Pepsi’s ads featuring a Black couple.
The ad titled, “Love Hurts,” featured a typical storyline: A wife tries everything in her power to get her husband to eat healthier. But in this case, the woman took extreme measures when she caught her hubby cheating on his diet.
In one scene she kicks her husband as he tries to order French fries at a restaurant, and in another she slams his head into a pie he is trying to eat. Although I found the commercial hilarious, many thought it was yet another example of trading on the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype.
Maybe it’s just me, I didn’t focus on the fact that the woman was Black (or dark skin, like The Root noted); I focused on how over-the-top the spot was (which to me, made it funny). I also knew that it was on par with other commercials that took liberties with reality (I mean, really, DJing dogs?) and showed people doing things that they wouldn’t normally do.
Whenever commercials like this air, I know people will be upset about it. Did the commercial show the wife as being angry with her husband? Sure, but I didn’t think it was because she was Black. If anything the commercial traded more on the stereotype of the overbearing wife, than the angry Black woman. Think about it, White, Asian, and Latino, women/wives have also been dipicted as being ultra-demanding and domineering (uh, John and Kate, anyone?) but it is usually Black folk who are typically most offended by commercials like these.
I get it. As a Black woman I’m sick of being painted with broad stereotypical strokes, but is everything always about race? Can I not chuckle at this commercial without feeling like a traitor to Black women everywhere? Or should we always be on guard whenever we see ourselves on screen?
One thing is for sure, no matter how you feel about this commercial it further underscores the need for more Black women to be center stage on both sides of the camera.