The Commodification of Pride
If you thought Pride month was about celebrating human rights and equality, you would right, but you would be leaving out a part of the picture. In reality, more so this year than any other, Pride month has also become a corporate money grab for whoever can effectively market a unicorn colored garment the best. Stepping into any mall or shopping area from coast to coast immediately feels like you’ve just entered a rainbow piñata and the internet has noticed.
As always, Twitter has it’s finger on the pulse of our collective consciousness. When it comes to our general reaction to the prismatic retail decor, the people are giving some side eye. This is not because we don’t like rainbows and unicorns, (they’re awesome, duh) but because the overuse has become corny in record timing. It’s one thing to show unfettered support for a community no matter the month, but quite another to capitalize on a culture the moment it becomes convenient and lucrative to do so.
I have mixed feelings on the matter. I love a rainbow everything, simply because I find the aesthetic appealing and always have. Ever since first being introduced to a set of crayons, I’ve always thought it was more fun to use them all. If you can remember the (initial) explosion that was Lisa Frank, then you’ll know I’m not alone. However, I also support the LGBTQ community, but I do not agree that sporting an iridescent unicorn spiked hat from Target is sufficient proof to show that I am an ally. Even if a small portion of the proceeds did go to a charitable cause.
So, how do we best enjoy our rainbow fleeced hoodies whilst staying woke about its manufacturing, retail value and cultural relevance? Don’t try to capitalize on a movement while it’s trending. If you really do support the community, you don’t really need to go out and buy a rainbow poncho...but if you’ve already got one in the closet, I hope it’s Missoni and you’re already wearing it.