Viral Father's Day Ad for Single Moms Misses the Mark Big Time (VIDEO)

angel soft adIf you’ve watched television recently, you may have seen the Angel Soft ad that’s causing quite a splash. Although a package of toilet paper isn’t the first thing I’d choose when selecting a Father’s Day gift, Angel Soft has jumped on the holiday themed commercial bandwagon, with a controversial ad that wishes single mothers a happy Father’s Day

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The ad’s underlying message is that single mothers should be honored on Father’s Day for shouldering all the responsibility of raising their family. Following in the footsteps of similar campaigns like Ritz crackers, Dove and Nabisco, the video features adults taking about the things their mothers did while raising them, balancing emotional moments and unshed tears with chuckle worthy anecdotes. It’s touching- even my icy demeanor felt a distinct thaw watching it. But while the ad is well intentioned, it misses the mark. Because in order to make the connection between parenting and toilet paper, Angel Soft claims the reason single moms deserve to be honored on Father’s Day because they are soft as moms are supposed to be, but also act strong and hard, like a man.

Take a look:

There’s no question that raising a child or children on your own is difficult. Even if you aren't a single parent, if you’ve ever experienced a night when you're home alone with the kids you get a tiny glimpse into that reality and see how much energy and work parenting alone takes.

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Being a single parent means more than not having someone to tag in when you need a minute to yourself to go to the bathroom, grab a snack or just breathe without little people wanting your attention. It’s an overwhelming and all-consuming job. You’re the one who has to shoulder all the worry, be in charge of discipline, all the decision making and the entire responsibility for raising a child by yourself . There’s no one to bounce ideas off of or assure you that you’re doing the right thing, no one to tap on the shoulder and say, “Your turn,” when a kid awakes in the middle of the night. Single parents deserve respect and admiration.

But claiming that by being soft and strong parents are being both mom and dad only reaffirms 1950s style gender stereotypes that are at best outdated and at worst, insulting. I'm fortunate enough to have a parenting partner, yet like one of the described single mother in the video, I know my way around a car engine. So I'll take my Father’s Day tie too, I suppose.

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There are many ways parents of either sex act in both “strong” or “soft” ways- dads who read bedtime stories and kiss boo-boos, moms who mow the lawn and pump gas. These examples seem silly because it’s ridiculous in 2015 to try and push moms and dads back into these pigeonholes. Just like single moms, parents with partners also wear both the “soft” and “strong” hat at times.

Single parents absolutely deserve credit for raising their families solo, but commandeering an existing holiday isn't the way to go about it. And it's certainly not the way to sell more toilet paper.

What do you think about Angel Soft’s ad?


About the Author: Megan Zander is a recovering divorce attorney turned SAHM to twin boys conceived through the wonders of modern science. You can find her our for a run or eating a cupcake, depending on how many tantrums she's dealt with that day.

 

Image via Angel Soft/YouTube

 

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