A John Lewis advert featuring a young boy in a dress has sparked backlash since it first aired during the ad breaks of The Great British Bake Off.
The advert in question, which is intended to advertise home insurance, sees the boy dancing around to Stevie Nicks’ classic track Edge of Seventeen while wearing a dress, leopard print heels and bright red lipstick.
The child can be seen creating absolute mayhem as he moves through his parents’ home, creating the sort of chaotic mess that will no doubt cause many people to shudder.
At one point, the boy chucks his heels at a lampshade, before smearing make-up all over the pristine white bannister. Feathers fly, ornaments smash, and painted hands get absolutely everywhere. All the while, the boy’s sister sits placidly at the table, carrying out a neat, quiet art project.
The idea here is, of course, that no matter how much glitter your out-of-control offspring may chuck around your expensive kitchen, John Lewis has got you covered. However, many people have read further into this, angered by what they regard as John Lewis pushing a ‘woke ideology’.
Delusional, woke, abhorrent hogwash – the most sanctimonious, self-serving example of an advert I’ve ever seen.
This would have been a funny ad 20 years ago but now it feels like they are trying to push an agenda!
Others have been less bothered about the boy’s dress, and more worried about his spoilt and careless attitude.
At one point, his mum can be seen, but she does nothing to stop him sweeping through the house like a tornado of destruction, upsetting his sister’s paints and showing a flagrant disregard for the mess his parents will no doubt have to hoover up.
The kid looks cute, nothing wrong with a boy wearing a dress or make-up. But he’s being awful! Why is the mum sitting there letting him trash the house?
Why is his little sister sitting there taking it? It’s not about how he’s dressed, it’s the fact his behaviour is being applauded as him expressing himself and nobody is intervening when he’s being destructive and disrespectful.
Male ‘expresses himself’ with zero regard for the negative impact on the females around him. The patriarchy in action. Clever work John Lewis.
However, there are those who like the ad, including Stevie Nicks herself, who tweeted ‘Love this! #EdgeOfSeventeen’.
Defending the ad in a tweeted statement, John Lewis said:
Although many children do dress up and dance around their homes the advert is a dramatic, fictional story created to entertain. We hope our customers will appreciate this ad in the spirit it was intended.
The company also noted that their accidental damage home insurance add-ons do indeed cover ‘unintentional breakages caused by children’, luckily for this boy’s family.