By Melissa Nosel
We’ve all seen the advertisements for our favorite companies, whether it is on TV or in print. The companies splash these advertisements in our face in an attempt to make us want to buy their pro ducts. What many companies use in their advertisements is the ideal, “all-American” family. More recently, corporations such as T Mills have been using different types of families, such as, starring a gay couple with children in their advertisements.
Discrimination against homosexuals is still pervasive in American society, but the companies that feature homosexual couples could be helping in the movement to achieve equal rights for homosexuals and for their relationships to be validated in the same light as heterosexual relationships are. Tiffany & Company just released a new advertisement for wedding bands, featuring two gay men as their chosen couple. One can argue that this is Tiffany & Co.’s way of saying that they are accepting of the gay community, or it may just be a way to get in touch with a market that hasn’t been noticed yet.
“This may just be a by-product of a company trying to get into a new market for themselves,” Daniel Giraldo, junior Political Science and History double major said. Maybe this is just a marketing scheme to reach a part of society that other corporations haven’t looked at yet. But then again, maybe Tiffany & Co. is trying to change how society looks at “normal” couples. “True love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms,” a Tiffany & Co. representative said as reported by Jack Linshi’s TIME magazine article, “Tiffany & Co. Jewelry Ad Campaign Features Its First Gay Couple.”
Fortunately, Target has also displayed acceptance explaining that they agree with same sex marriage according to Kim Bhasin’s Huffington Post article, “Target Finally Comes Out In Support of Gay Marriage,” on August 8, 2014 “It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage,” Jodee Kozlak, ExecutiveVice President of Target said on the company’s blog, according to Bhasin. Those who believe in equal marriage rights for all appreciated this overt acceptance of homosexual marriage. “It’s a great thing. It’s a wake-up call. Everything has to start somewhere, and [by advertising in this manner, these companies] will create a chain reaction,” Richard Batista, junior Education major said.
Are these big corporations’ advertisements the change the U.S. needs? Should the gay community be accepted by today’s society? Over the past 10 years, American citizens have become more accepting of the gay community as a whole, and less people disagree with the gay lifestyle than those who support it according to People Press’ research study, “Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics.” Why hate someone for who they love? There is no reason to restrict someone from their basic human rights to love who they want. “If you’re not harming anyone, then why should anyone care? You cannot tell anyone who or who not they can be with,” Batista said. Corporations, such as Tiffany & Co. and Target, are making a definite stance in support of the homosexual lifestyle through their pro-gay advertisements.
By spotlighting homosexual relationships, these corporations are giving the homosexual community a bigger voice to use against those who protest against them. However, these corporations are taking a risk by making these stances. They may lose customers, employees, or even stockholders by displaying their acceptance. “Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear,” Tiffany & Co.’s spokesperson said, according to Linshi.
Maybe these advertisements aren’t just about accepting the homosexual lifestyle; maybe they have a deeper meaning. This new age of advertisements could be trying to move with the changing direction ofour society. The world is no longer clear-cut where there are segregated between things considered normal and abnormal.
People are learning that sexuality and personal choice comes down to self-autonomy and an individual’s prerogative. These types of advertisements are proving that our society has changed in the past few years. Those who show animosity or hostility towards the modifications that have occurred should learn to look positively on these changes, for they only seem to be expanding and progressing as the years pass.