Ever see those Cinnamon Toast commercials? They’re weird, right? Slightly disturbing, cute, and funny all at the same time. Those crazy squares are cannibalistic, always eating each other, sometimes even themselves!
They work together to try and hunt down their own species and reap the rewards of the cinnamon and sugar, and then are betrayed by the very same squares, or they fall into a messy trap. Survival of the fittest in pursuit of deliciousness. And rightly so. Can you blame them?
But something caught my attention the other day. The first two words of the commercial said “Hey, Ladies.” and then the last words, the sort of tagline was “Everybody craves those crazy squares.” Now, this may just be the English major in me (we like to pick things apart and look at the details) but I couldn’t help but think of those two opening words.
Maybe the commercial is directed towards us ladies because women’s tongues are different then men’s and are more inclined to sweets.
Or maybe its because women on their period crave sweets. Or it’s the hormones, you know?
I kid, of course.
But then again, it’s interesting how they target the cereal towards women, but have that cereal then be cannibalistic and treacherous.
But then again, I suppose the Toasty squares aren’t actually female. They’re more gender neutral, which, because they don’t have long eyelashes and luscious pink lips, mean they look male. That could possibly make up for it, right? They only said ladies, but then the actual members look male. That gets them off the hook.
No, wrong again. Because feminism isn’t just interested in women, we’re interested in masculinity and men, too. So, it also catches my attention that the cannibalistic, self-destructive, shifty, backstabbing Squares are male-esque characters.
But what are you going to do? Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Criticized with women and men. Well, that’s just how things are, I suppose. The problem is this isn’t like an intentional attack on gender, it’s just there. We don’t think about it. It’s ingrained in our skin and it comes out in our media in things as small and insignificant as cereal commercials.