GRSJ 300 98A: Culture Jam Assignment

Original Ad


In 2013, Flora, a brand of margarine, released this offensive homophobic ad in South Africa. This controversial ad spread rapidly through social media outlets before Flora’s parent company, Unilever, withdrew the ad and acknowledged it as “offensive” and “unacceptable” (Nichols, 2013).  The original ad features the words, “uhh, Dad I’m gay” in the shape of a bullet, heading towards a heart made of ornate china, on a pink background. Compared to their heterosexual, cisgendered peers, LGBTQ2+ individuals face a unique path in which they must consciously navigate the emergence and disclosure of their identity (Schmitz & Tyler, 2018). This experience of disclosing their identity can be anxiety producing and Flora’s ad is making a mockery of this stressful experience.

Secondly, the words “uhh, Dad I’m gay”, in the shape of a bullet, is hurtling towards a heart made of porcelain china. If a bullet were to go through an object made of porcelain china it would shatter into many pieces. This implies that learning your child is gay is equivalent to being shot through the heart and would result in a broken heart (Nichols, 2013). Lastly, Flora has promoted its margarine as helping consumers maintain a healthy heart. Therefore, included in this ad is the tagline: “You need a strong heart today”. This further implies that having your child share that they are gay is devastating news that requires strength to hear.

This ad is problematic as it further contributes to the heteronormative societal view that holds the assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality within society (Goldberg & Allen, 2018). Heteronormativity holds the assumption that there are only two distinct and complementary genders – male and female. Heteronormativity occurs on various levels – legal, cultural, institutional, discursive, interactional and interpersonal (Averett, 2015). It results in a society where people, who identify as heterosexual, hold a privileged position while those who identify as LGBTQ2+, are often unfairly disadvantaged. This heteronormative view further alienates members of the LGBTQ2+ community and results in inequality, homophobia, transphobia, hate crime, stigma, discrimination and hostility in general.

Jammed Ad


Flora’s inappropriate and offensive ad was released relatively recently, in 2013. Which demonstrates that, although there have been advancements in social change, equality and justice for LGBTQ2+ members, they are still faced with multiple challenges. In my “jammed” version of Flora’s ad, I’ve replaced the original words, “uhh, Dad I’m gay” to “LGBTQ2+ Rights”, which are in the shape of a bullet heading towards the heart made of porcelain china. The heart made of china, that will predictably break after being struck by the “LGBTQ2+ Rights” bullet, represents the many negative experiences that LGBTQ2+ members are confronted with. For example; prejudice, homophobia, transphobia, hate crime, inequality and discrimination. By changing the bullet to “LGBTQ2+ Rights”, I wanted to demonstrate the strengths and resiliencies that LGBTQ2+ members have demonstrated in fighting for LGBTQ2+ rights and against prejudice, homophobia, transphobia, hate crime, inequality and discrimination.

Despite the adverse circumstances and unique challenges that LGBTQ2+ members face, it is important to also acknowledge the successes they have had in working towards legal, institutional and social change. As well as the initiatives that have taken place such as; the creation of programs, policy development, legislative change and advocacy. In my “jammed” ad, I’ve also changed the tagline from “You need a strong heart today” to “You have no heart”. This is directed toward whoever was behind the original ad and anyone participating in the acts listed on the heart made of china. Although social acceptance is growing, it is nowhere near complete for LGBTQ2+ identifying individuals. The fight for advancing social change, equality and justice continues.

Megan Geiger


Averett, K. H. (2016). The gender buffet: LGBTQ parents resisting heteronormativity. Gender & Society, 30(2), 189-212. doi:10.1177/0891243215611370

Goldberg, A. E., & Allen, K. R. (2018). Teaching undergraduates about LGBTQ identities, families, and intersectionality: Teaching undergraduates about LGBTQ. Family Relations, 67(1), 176-191. doi:10.1111/fare.12224

Nichols, J. (2013, September 3). Flora margarine’s anti-gay ad sparks controversy, parent company Unilever speaks out. Huffington Post, p. 434.

Schmitz, R. M., & Tyler, K. A. (2019). ‘Life has actually become more clear’: An examination of resilience among LGBTQ young adults. Sexualities, 22(4), 710-733. doi:10.1177/1363460718770451