BAM! Party City ad was everywhere. Have you seen it? (What ad?---info at bottom.)
As it should for anyone who cares about kids (food allergy, sensitivity, intolerance, disease aside) it pissed me off -- in a big way. Every adjective has been used in post after post, and rightfully so. We work hard to prevent bullying, to support those who may be different in some way (and to educate that we are ALL different in some way) and in comes this short ad and crushes our kids who need to be gluten free.
This amazing community and it's outspokeneness (no, I know that is not a word) has made an impact. The ad was removed. An apology was made along with a promise to make a donation to celiac research. (If we could only make such an impact on hospitals that poison their patients who require special diets with their inability to feed them safely. Why is this so difficult?! Sorry, I'll get back to the topic at hand....)
Honestly, I don't know how that ad got so far as to be aired to begin with, but it did. (and no, the apology and donation does not make it OK....not implying that here. But voices were heard.)
Me being me and trying to be optimistic, which is not always easy, and often follows a period of battle first, wants to see what good can follow. My experience shows it's possible: a lifetime of un-diagnosed celiac led to advocating for education and awareness. Health answers led to the end of a twenty year marriage but led me back to school to a career I love (first) and to a wonderful man, my husband, I would never have met otherwise (second). Hell, I even fought to focus on the smallest rays of light on the darkest days of my life, when my son was battling recovery from a severe TBI after a horrible car accident. So no, I don't speak lightly when I say, "Maybe something good can come from this."
*(My husband is FIRST before my job; I went back to school first and met him second. whew....needed to clear that up!)
I am not saying, "Oh, they apologized, so it's OK now." Far from it. But good CAN come from this. It does often take something big (and negative) to make positive change. Let's use it to propel us towards impacting GOOD ways to help boys and girls who require special diets.
(Wouldn't it be great for ads and scenes in programs to spring from this that would never have been before the energy that came from the community in response to this ad?---educational, supportive kinds of ads and scenes....? Maybe I'm wearing rose-colored glasses... but I'm always hopeful.)
I ask that any responses to my post include ways we can make a difference, those ways you've made a difference, ways we can all make a difference. Yes, we have a right (and reason) to get angry. But that anger does no good unless it propels positive change.
I created the presentation below last month and ask you to share, share, share (and highlight slide #8, approximately 2 minutes 45 seconds in.) THIS is what I'm about, and what we all need to focus on and fight for!
Free of Gluten, Not Free of Feelings:
The Emotional Side of Dietary Differences
The most information about the Party City ad is available on Gluten Dude's site.
Thank you to him for his advocacy!
This is what was said in the ad. Seriously!
(Scene: Two women talking over a table of food, addressing separate side table with plate of food. "What's that?" 'Gluten free...'
"Do we even know people that are like that?"