Dental care brand Listerine has been criticised for releasing a “gay pride” themed mouthwash bottle design.
The rainbow flag design the bottle is wrapped is a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride movement.
Listerine ostensibly aims to jump on the bandwagon with its special-edition rainbow-striped bottles, currently being sold in pharmacies across America. They don’t appear to be sold in the UK, currently.
The bottles are part of a wider “Care With Pride” range created by Listerine’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson.
Hair and body range OGX also displays the same design.
The Listerine bottle design bears the words: “Sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic, peace, harmony, spirit.” These are words that Gilbert Baker, gay activist and creator of the Rainbow Flag, assigned to its colours in 1978.
American blogger and writer Daryush Valizadeh called out Listerine’s Gay Pride themed bottles on Twitter earlier this week.
Others, including members of the LGBT community, chimed in to mock the brand.
They seem equally baffled about the link between mouthwash and sexuality.
at last i can wash my gay hair and rinse my gay mouth while feeling truly seen pic.twitter.com/QhQuwiaf7c
— David Mack (@davidmackau) May 20, 2019
we as gay people, we get to choose how we freshen our breath
— Adam Moussa (@adamjmoussa) May 21, 2019
can’t wait to drink my cold brew absolutely stinking of tea tree and listerine. “Gay rights!” https://t.co/QTwvawd5W9
— Jᴀᴄᴋ 👑✨ (@JackDMurphy) May 21, 2019
Meanwhile, some other users are making risqué jokes linking mouthwash and oral sex.
Too scared to put *it* in your month just yet cuz you are “not gay, dude, let’s just wrestle a bit and do other bro things”? Try Listerine. pic.twitter.com/L00Q6zcMEM
— *joins the battle* (@suprememodelrus) May 22, 2019
what’s more gay cock breath or listerine pride breath https://t.co/PhcM2VnnY6
— clark (@clarkus96) May 22, 2019
The so-called “Gay Pride” mouthwash follows the online anger after Marks & Spencer released a LGBTQ+ (short for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and polyamorous) sandwich.
The bacon, lettuce and tomato meal, complete with added guacamole, was called out by shopping Aaron Wright, who tweeted a picture of the sandwich, which comes in rainbow packaging, with a caption saying "f*** off".
In fact past, certain brands have faced similar outrage for selling unnecessarily gendered products.