British ad gets attention for featuring a kid living out his drag fantasy

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An ad from British insurance firm John Lewis is getting equal amounts of praise and criticism.

The TV spot shows a young boy playing dress ups and donning make up and being quite fabulous as he moves through the house enthralled to the sound of Stevie Nicks. As he dances through the space he leaves a trail of destruction.

The clip ends with the line “Let Life Happen”.

While the advertisement has been praised for showing a young man having the time of his life unbridled by gender norms, the campaign has also been accused of promoting binary gender roles.

People have asked why he’s shown being boisterous and destructive, while his sisters is portrayed as quite and docile, and why does the mother just look on while he reeks havoc – bad parenting?  The campaign has also been criticised for tapping into stereotypes about gay men, while others have accused it of promoting gender fluidity.

Maybe he’s just binge viewed the first two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, or maybe it’s just a kid playing dress ups.

Take a look at the ad. 

Since the ad was first aired in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority has received over 300 complaints about its content. While some people complained about a male child being dressed in feminine clothing others were angered that he was willfully destroying his family home.

The insurer released a statement denying that the boy was deliberately destroying the property.

“At John Lewis we believe in children having fun and that’s why we chose this playful storyline for our latest advert,” the insurer said.

“It’s designed to show the young actor getting carried away with his dramatic performance. He is not willfully damaging his home and is unaware of the unintentional consequences of his actions.”

John Lewis said their if people had Accidental Damage cover with them, it would include accidental breakages by children.

Graeme Watson 


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