Bigots fuming about John Lewis’ joyful advert have spectacularly shown themselves up

Patrick Kelleher October 14, 2021
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Stills from two separate Joh Lewis adverts which show a boy and a girl dancing around their homes

John Lewis' new advert is actually a follow-on from an earlier one with a girl dancing around her house. (John Lewis)

Furious bigots have rushed to Twitter to condemn a new John Lewis ad featuring a boy in a dress for “sexualising” children – and they’ve shown themselves up in a big way.

The department store’s new home insurance advert shows a boy dressing up in his mum’s clothes, make-up and jewellery before dancing around the house.

Tragically for his parents, the boy also destroys pretty much everything in his path as he unleashes a dramatic, expertly choreographed performance to Stevie Nicks’ song “Edge of Seventeen”.

Most people saw the ad for what it was – a heartfelt nod to childish playfulness – but the usual suspects were quick to voice their discontent. Swarms of so-called “gender critical” feminists and others rushed to Twitter to condemn the advert.

Many claimed the advert was “sexist”, arguing that the boy’s unchecked, reckless destruction of his family home is an example of male privilege. But perhaps the most egregious perspective came from journalist Sonia Poulton.

“While attempting to jump on the queer theory bandwagon, John Lewis have created an ad that sums up the s**tshow really well. A sexualised and entitled child destroying things that do not belong to him.

“The people who cannot see how this child is sexualised are the people who need to be kept away from children. People like me will always protect these kids from people like you. It’s not progressive you’re just a creep.”

Nobody accused John Lewis of ‘sexualising’ children when it released a near identical advert with a girl

What those calling out the advert have apparently failed to notice is that the new video is actually a follow-on from an advertising campaign started by John Lewis in 2015.

That year, the department store released an advert of a young girl dancing around her house to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. The clip shows the girl repeatedly almost knocking things to the ground as she gets completely lost in her performance.

Meanwhile, her horrified brother watches on from the stairs with his mouth hanging open – presumably terrified they’ll both be blamed when she breaks something.

Needless to say, that advert landed in 2015 without any controversy. There was no backlash, nobody suggested that the child was being “sexualised”. Basically, it all went off without a hitch.

Thankfully, not everybody had bad things to say about the advert. Stevie Nicks herself weighed in to say that she loved it, while countless others mocked and excoriated those driving the backlash.

More: John Lewis, transphobia

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