The M&M characters have been redesigned, leaving all of us completely baffled
Let’s start with this: we are all for increased equity and inclusivity in all manners and scopes, in every corner of the world.
Also: we love eating M&Ms.
But also this: Mars Inc.’s weird attempt to make their M&M characters woke is maybe the strangest, most confusing thing we’ve ever seen, and it’s a move that has us questioning both our sanity and our values. How are we expected to go about our daily lives knowing this has happened, but never fully understanding it?
Here are the facts: M&M released a press release this week announcing a “fresh, modern take on the looks of our beloved characters and more nuanced personalities to underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling.”
It’s part of a bigger “global commitment” they’re making to create “a world where everyone feels they belong, and society is inclusive.”
Which is a really nice thought. Except that the M&M characters don’t really look that different? And we’re not totally sure that they are going to reach the company’s goal of, “increasing the sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025.”
In fact — spoiler alert — they look mostly the same.
The two female-presenting M&Ms, green and brown, have had their sex appeal toned down, as far as tiny chocolate candies can have sex appeal. Their stances are more normalized, they have less exaggerated features, and their shoes are more sensible — brown’s shoes have lower heels, and green’s go-go boots have been switched out to sneakers.
Are they still probably making 78 cents to the dollar of what the male-presenting M&Ms make? That was not covered in the press release.
Really, the updated shoe wear is the most recognizable change to take place for all of the M&Ms: they’re now wearing slightly more detailed and less cartoonish shoes.
Another change: instead of having peach-colored limbs, they now have a more neutral and less skin-toned translucent limbs that reflect their individual shell colors. We’re sure this will bring a swift end to racism worldwide.
The characters will also undergo subtle personality shifts, which you will absolutely not notice unless you’ve been closely following the M&M character universe. For example, according to according to Jane Hwang, M&M Global Vice President, the orange M&M will be slightly less anxious and more accepting, learning to “embrace his true self, worries and all.”
Relatedly, we’ve decided to love ourselves more despite our feelings of anxiety and despair, following the lead of our new mental health role model and moral compass, orange M&M.
As you might guess, people have been making fun of the new M&Ms on the internet. Here are some of our favorite jokes so far, the first from NPR correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben.
And this one made us LOL:
And here’s one we can definitely get behind:
The new characters aren’t the only change that Mars announced related to their M&M branding. The M&M character news was so strange that the other big change is kind of sneaking in under the radar: the company will “use a variety of different shapes and sizes of the brand’s iconic, colorful lentils across all touchpoints to prove that all together, we’re more fun.”
Wow, suddenly we have an improved body image and can more easily engage in self-love!
Also we had no idea that individual M&Ms were called lentils! At least some good came out of all of this.
Anyway. Next time we eat way too many M&Ms in the bathroom so that our kids won’t ask for some, we’ll stop and think about how each of those little candies represents our diverse, colorful world, as illustrated by their cartoon sneakers.
Your move, Skittles.
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