Tag Archives: Super Bowl advertising

Flying Test Babies, Flying food… No difference

(Again, if you are fragile, please avoid this blog post. It gets graphic at the very end.)

I didn’t have the same reaction. I have a plethora of children, survivor of abuse in my past, survivor of loss, survivor of PPD. I saw a light hearted commercial about a family being in a rediculous situation and something ridiculous happening.

Not to belittle your reaction, but there are infomercials put there, you know the ones, food flying everywhere because people can’t chop food, we all laugh. There are also people out there that worked in factory settings with limbs chopped off, get where I am going with it?

I am truely sorry you had that snap reaction, I even understand it, and it shows that you have more healing to do.

I hope that you are able to move beyond your pain soon, and laugh at the ridiculous again soon.

 

The above is a comment which was left in response to my post on February 6 in reaction to the “Test Baby” Super Bowl Commercial. I’ve not edited it at all.

Why am I sharing it with you?

I’m sharing it because as I have thought about what my response to this comment would be, I realized that it needed to be an entire blog post. I have so much to say in response to this person’s reaction.

Here goes.

Dear Justthe10:

I believe everyone has the right to their own opinion and I thank you for leaving yours here at my blog. Just as I allowed your comment, please allow me to respond.

Congratulations on your plethora of children. I hope they are bringing you great joy on a daily basis.

I am deeply sorry for the pain you have suffered throughout your life. It sounds like you have been through the wringer more than once. Abuse, loss, and PPD are no laughing matter.

Neither is child abuse or Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Throwing a baby against a plate glass window is no laughing matter. There is no situation in which this action is anywhere near comparable to that of food flying everywhere. And as far as factory workers go, I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial with that subject matter.

Food flying everywhere does not cause anyone to be severely brain damaged. It does not cause anyone to live in a persistive vegetative state. It does not harm an innocent person with gratuitous violence.

Furthermore, this commercial was aired during a family event. Children saw this. Children in homes who have suffered violence and abuse themselves. Children who have no real way of processing this the same as you or I. Children who may now think it’s cool to pick up their little brother or sister and throw him or her against the glass window, door, etc, because someone on TV did it.

The manner in which I chose to react on my blog was not a “snap” reaction.

In fact, I did not see this commercial air live. I had stepped out of the room when the commercial aired. It was only because of Twitter that I became aware of the existence of this commercial.

My reaction, was not based on a “snap” judgment. I watched this commercial several times prior to blogging about it.

For nearly four years now, I have worked tirelessly as an advocate and Postpartum Peer Support person. All of my work is unpaid and on a volunteer basis. I come in contact with women and families on a daily basis who share with me their struggles through PPD, their struggles through infant and child loss, and their struggles with past abuse.

My reaction was anything BUT snap. It was a very deliberate and well thought out reaction meant to raise the awareness that it is not okay to use an act of child neglect and/or abuse to turn a profit.

If you Google this topic, you will quickly find that I am not alone in my “Snap” judgment. Well-known and reputable journalists, websites, advocacy groups, parent groups, etc, are all calling for this ad to be completely pulled from the company’s website. Have you seen this article at USA Today?

To call into question my mental health because I refuse to find a gratuitous act of violence against an innocent infant (real or otherwise) is also crossing a line. We are all different and have different boundaries. It’s okay to have different boundaries. It’s what makes us interesting.

If you knew me better, you would also know that I do laugh at the ridiculous and inappropriate on a regular basis. Just ask my husband. I have a very dark sense of humor. I grew up surrounded by a lot of grief and laughter at the darkness of it all was one of my coping methods. I’ll be one of the first people to laugh at dark humor in a group. I’ll tell dark jokes and regularly watch things filled with inappropriate references. There are several people who will back me up on this one.

But for me? Harming  a Baby CROSSES A LINE.

And it’s okay that I feel that way. It doesn’t mean I need to heal. It doesn’t mean that I am still hurting. It doesn’t mean that I am crazy. What it means is that  I care. I have compassion. I have a moral compass.

Bottom line here:

There is absolutely NO situation in which harming an infant is okay to use as source material for humor. None. Harming infants is off the table for me and for much of America. If it’s not, I worry about where our society is headed when Child Abuse is on the table as a selling point for any company, especially one targeting families.

Furthermore, the company has a customization option at their website now which lets you decapitate the baby. Last I checked, doing that to a real baby will get you locked up and is a real reason to question someone’s sanity. If you really think this extension of the commercial is okay, then perhaps you should check yourself into a hospital. Sadly, this very situation DID happen in Texas not too long ago with a new mother suffering from Schizophrenia and believed to have developed Postpartum Psychosis. I didn’t find it funny then and I certainly don’t find it funny now.

I sincerely wish you all the best in life and hope things continue to go well for you so you are able to “laugh at the ridiculous.”

Me?

I’ll laugh at the ridiculous.

It just won’t ever include harming infants in any way, shape, or form.

Lots of love,

Me

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“Test Baby” Superbowl Commercial

(If you suffer from intrusive thoughts, PLEASE do not read this post as it may trigger some intense thoughts.)

A no-name internet company sponsored a Superbowl ad tonight.

The company seems to specialize in the rental of homes and condos vs. hotels for vacations. It’s an awesome concept and had it not been for their commercial tonight, I may have used them for my trip to Seattle in the fall.

Tonight’s commercial involved a family in a glass room meant to simulate a hotel room. The family had a Mom, a Dad, two older kids, and a baby. The Mom put the baby down to sleep on the end of what appeared to be a table. As the older kids pillow fight on the bed, one of them accidentally hits Dad and he falls on the table.

The baby?

Went flying across the room, into the glass wall.

The voice-over stated “test baby.”

Mom stares on in horror in the background.

The baby is clearly a doll but it blinks a couple of times once it hits the glass. And a smear is left as it slides downward.

I cannot TELL you how many times I have heard from mom after mom after mom that one of the harshest thoughts she’s had in the midst of Postpartum is that of throwing her infant across the room.

I had it. Women who have come to me for support have had that thought. Friends of mine who have struggled with PPD have had this very thought.

I am nearly three full years into recovered from my episodes with Postpartum.

This commercial?

Brought it all rushing back. Even managed to kill what little buzz I had going from the beer I treated myself to tonight.

There is no proper platform for humor about injuring a baby.

None.

Not a commercial, not a movie, not a play, none. Not even Adam Sandler or Kevin Smith could pull this crap off and get away with it.

First of all, it’s traumatizing to those of us who have struggled with intrusive thoughts as new mothers. A scene like that, unwarranted, in the middle of what should be a fun and relaxing event, can totally shut a mother down, trigger anxiety, and intrusive thoughts she then has to battle for quite some time. All in the name of making more money.

Second, infant trauma is a real problem. So is Shaken Baby Syndrome.

According to the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome Statistics page:

Based on a North Carolina research project published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August of 2003, approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse every year.

The same North Carolina research study revealed that approximately 30 per 100,000 children under age 1 suffered inflicted brain injuries.

Approximately 20% of cases are fatal in the first few days after injury and the majority of the survivors are left with handicaps ranging from mild – learning disorders, behavioral changes – to moderate and severe, such as profound mental and developmental retardation, paralysis, blindness, inability to eat or exist in a permanent vegetative state.

From Child Abuse Medical Diagnosis and Management by Robert Reece, M.D. – “At best estimate, one third of abusive head injury victims who develop symptoms escape without significant handicapping conditions. Many children are left with blindness, seizure disorders, profound mental retardation, spastic diplegia (paralysis of both sides) or quadriplegia (all sides). Some continue to live in a vegetative state.”

Medical costs associated with initial and long-term care for children who are victims of SBS/AHT can range from $300,000 to more than $1,000,000.

To make light of a very serious injury to an infant in order to sell product is beyond deplorable. It’s beyond despicable. It’s.. it’s… there is no word to describe the atrocity.

Not only is there the commercial, but their twitter account now links to a page encouraging you to put YOUR face on the baby. Again.. no words.

Shame on them.

Shame.

Shame on the NFL and on FOX for accepting this commercial and essentially endorsing the act of violence against an innocent infant.

NFL, FOX, and the responsible company owe us an apology. Shame.

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