Kleenex Says “Get Mommed.” How About, Get Stereotyped?


Kleenex knows you so well. When you come down with a cold, all you want is your mother.

Kleenex also knows that “mother” and “motherhood” can’t be defined singularly. Motherhood is a rich and dynamic tapestry, made up of women from various walks of life and nurturing styles. Unless you’re a minority!

The eponymous tissue manufacturer has recently launched a new web property, asking visitors to “Get Mommed.” (Hey! Stop verbing my mother, would ya?) The website features eight mothers ripe for the picking, as cold season (and swine flu) sweeps the nation, each mother a bigger stereotype than the last.[more]

The mothers appear in short clips personally appealing to visitors looking to “Get Mommed.” Perhaps you need some tough love? For that there’s Sue, the Asian mother with a purely coincidental accent.

Not for you? Of course not, look at you. You’re all skin and bones! Phyllis is obviously the right mother for you. She’s here to offer some TLC, cook her famed pot roast and smother you. You’ll be back to good health in time for Saturday services.

More interested in a feisty mom? Okay, try Lisa. Everything about her is sassy! A sassy African-American woman? Unheard of. Are you from a big family? Well, say “Hola” to Ana Maria. You can’t miss her, she’s festively attired in a vibrant outfit. 

Naturally, the Caucasian mothers on the site are allowed a little more personality. Blessed to be from the south? Well Magnolia is the momma for you. She’ll serve up a mean slice of pie, the last thing you want when you are sick. And speaking of that cold, how ever will you get over it? Perhaps Amber, the earth mother, can heal you with a holistic remedy.

Maybe the best way to treat a cold is with more cold, like frigid. Well, try on Veronica for size. But don’t get sick on her Chanel suit. Also, don’t come near her. She’s on deadline and can’t afford to get sick. Oh, girlfriend, I know what you need. A mom that is relaxed and cool, Jessica! She’ll be your total BFF for life! Except for when she’s hanging out with her real BFF’s for life!

For visitors overwhelmed with the caricatures, Kleenex provides a handy quiz to sort it all out. After all, you can’t choose your parents.

Kleenex took a cute concept and created a disaster. Not only do the mothers foster on tired racial stereotypes but the premise behind “Get Mommed” perpetuates the notion that only mothers are caregivers. Kleenex needs to Get Clued.