Rainbow mouthwash? Pride-related marketing is cynical but I’m happy it exists

Fifty-two years ago, gay sex was illegal in the UK. Today, you can buy bottles of Listerine adorned with the rainbow Pride flag.

Some argue this is progress. Others are adamant that it’s post-progress; that it speaks to the bizarre and uniquely late capitalist condition in which LGBTQ people have gone from criminals to consumers. Maybe though, it’s a little bit of both.

Rainbow mouthwash

Either way, it’s hard not to look at a bottle of gay pride themed mouthwash and feel something. The rainbow Listerine is part of Johnson & Johnson’s “Care With Pride” range which, in all fairness, donates to LGBTQ charities like PFLAG in the US.

Nonetheless, daubed with the words “life”, “healing”, “sunlight” and “nature” for some reason, this is a product so inane I had to read about it in five different reputable news sources before I believed it was real. And, good intentions aside, it runs the risk of parodying progress.

Then again, the idea of some foaming-at-the-mouth fash uncle having to display queer mouthwash in his bathroom (because Listerine is the only product that helps with his severe halitosis) is kind of delicious. Then again, isn’t a facile nod to queer people a good way of distracting the world from your reputation as a faceless multinational who once sold baby powder contaminated with asbestos? Read more via inews