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Mars, Incorporated Accused of Slut-shaming Because They’ve Taken Away the Green M&M’s ”Step on Me” Boots

She now enjoys "being a hypewoman" for her friends.

M&Ms characters

In the ongoing saga of, “This is not what we meant when we said we wanted companies to be more inclusive,” Mars, Incorporated, the folks behind M&Ms, is giving their candy-coated mascots a makeover in a push to be more inclusive.

Since the mascots are, you know, candy, there isn’t much that can be done to show the company’s, quote, “global commitment to creating a world where everyone feels they belong and society is inclusive.” The solution? Alter their mannerisms and, um, their… shoes?

I am quietly applauding Judy Kurtz from The Hill right now who managed to write this story and put it out into the world.

What’s this about changing their shoes?

According to Kurtz, the company decided to give the candy mascots a “fresh, new look” to increase the, quoting Mars again here, “sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025.”

Now if you’re like me, you probably look at the color-coded representatives of what will soon be crunched between your teeth as, well, that, but they also make you laugh, on occasion, with ads where they mingle with people who just want to eat them. Maybe they’re having drinks and making snide comments about each other, or they’re reminding you to shut your phone off before a movie starts in the theater.

But have you ever sat back and asked yourself if Red and the gang were properly representing you?

You haven’t?

Yeah, me either.

That’s not stopping Mars from rolling out this sneaker agenda for the Green M&M.

The green M&M, previously seen in ads posing seductively and strutting her stuff in white go-go boots, will now sport a pair of sneakers. A description for the green candy on the M&M’s website says she enjoys “being a hypewoman for my friends.”

“I think we all win when we see more women in leading roles, so I’m happy to take on the part of supportive friend when they succeed,” the green M&M said on the promotional site.

Another character, the brown M&M, described her motto as, “Not bossy. Just the boss.”

I would like to add that the website also has Green’s motto as, “I’m too busy shining to throw shade.”

You might remember Green for being a bit of a snooty patootie, but she’s done with that (must be the power of the sneakers). Gone is the sassy queen who took control of the room, instead replaced with, well, I’ll let Alexandra Larkin over at CBS News explain.

The green M&M will also be “better represented to reflect confidence and empowerment, as a strong female, and known for much more than her boots.”

The green M&M and the brown M&M will have a more friendly relationship, showcasing a “force supporting women.” The two characters’ dynamic will have them “together throwing shine and not shade,” the company said.

I know what you’re wondering. Is Brown getting rid of her heels?! She isn’t! But they will be lowered to a more professional heel height, according to Larkin.

As for the rest of the M&Ms, well…

The orange M&M, who has an anxious personality, will “embrace his true self, worries and all.” But the orange M&M’s shoe laces will now be tied to represent his cautious nature. According to Mars, the orange M&M is “one of the most relatable characters with Gen-Z,” which is the “most anxious generation.”

The red M&M, who has shown bully tendencies in the past, will be more kind to his co-characters.

Mars will also include imagery of M&Ms of all shapes and sizes, moving away from only one body size, and it will remove the prefixes from the characters’ names in order to focus on “their personalities, rather than their gender.”

You know what, Bri, this is one of those times where you just quietly stare at the quote, give it an “Ok.jpg,” and move on.

What’s this about slut-shaming?

While all of the characters are getting some kind of makeover that will, surely, put an end to all of the inclusivity issues in the world, it was Green’s change that got the most attention online. The implication of making a major difference in female empowerment by changing a fictional candy character’s shoes was a lot, especially since the change is backed with quotes from Mars about how much of a “hypewoman” she is now.


What do her boots have to do with her wanting women to win?

Out of all the reactions to the change, there’s one that is such top-tier journalism that I feel like I should send the writer a bag of M&Ms.

Rolling Stone’s EJ Dickson writes, “In brands’ fervent quest to capture youth audiences and capture the woke zeitgeist, they may be going just a little bit too far. Case in point: the slut-shaming of the green M&M.”

The article breaks down the ridiculousness of the shoe change in the most wonderful way, because why not embrace pure silliness in response to such a silly campaign? This push for inclusivity feels woefully misguided, as is the case when some brands decide that now is the time to try and get them woke points.

What in the world is changing the shoes of anthropomorphic candy bits going to accomplish? Furthermore, if you really wanna get into it (as Dickson has), why can’t Green have positive qualities while keeping her bad bitch boots?

The green M&M has spent decades building her brand as a horny, sexy bitch, and for what? For her creators to give her Larry David footwear in the name of feminism? For Mars Wrigley to give themselves pats on the back and big fat fucking raises at the next corporate retreat in Palo Alto? Guess what: the green M&M is a feminist, and she’s a dirty slut. We are real, and we exist, and we refuse to tolerate this disgusting attempt at erasure.

Thank you for making our voices heard, EJ Dickson.

Also, I’m contractually obligated to include this bit of M&Ms lore.

Happy Friday, everyone.

(Image: Mars, Incorporated)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)