The Right Place for *that* Frida Mom Commercial
ABC and the Oscars banned this Frida Mom commercial from airing during the 2020 awards show.
It is angering that this happened, because as the intro details, there is nothing “violent, political, or sexual in nature.” The ad is not “religious or lewd” and does not portray “guns or ammunition.” So why was it banned?
OK, whatever, ABC and the Oscars say that the biggest awards show on network television is not the place for a commercial about the flaming dumpster fire that is the female body after giving birth to a small human. Fine. Maybe it’s better to not juxtapose the utter magnificence of Janelle Monáe on the red carpet with a brutally honest reminder of the destruction that was my postpartum downstairs. If ABC and the Oscars made an argument for banning it for the sake of the dignity of moms everywhere, sparing them the potential pain of having their fun Oscars party night ruined by suddenly being forced to respond to “Holy shit. Is that really what it's like?!” as their non-parent friends look on in horror, I would see their point. (FWIW, I don’t think they did - but playing devil’s advocate here.)
But it got me wondering: where IS the right place for a commercial like this? For a discussion like this? I thank my lucky stars every day for my honest mama friends who warned me, “oh girl, labor is tough, but brace yourself for that first poop,” and “buy all the Tucks pads you can find now because they will become your best friend.” I didn’t take a birth class, but from what I’ve heard, it’s all about getting the baby out, not really acknowledging the state of things after. And by “things,” I mean your vagina, asshole, brain, heart, and everything in between.
The commercial is tough to watch. But it’s vital viewing because it’s a big first step towards not forgetting mom. Her healthcare and recovery matters, too, and she shouldn’t have to experience it discreetly, silently, invisibly.
Frida Mom, I applaud you for creating this commercial because when I saw it for the first time, I cried. Not only because I felt truly seen and understood and validated, but because I know that future moms and their partners (and maybe everyone else in the world, too) will hopefully also see this and have an honest visual of what recovery after the total wreckage of delivery looks like. The more we show reality like this commercial does, the weaker the taboo becomes.
So where is the right place for a commercial like this? Freakin’ everywhere. Social media, email threads, birth classes, doctor’s offices, sex-ed classes, and yup, even Oscars or Super Bowl commercials.
Just do us moms a favor and don’t show it right after Janelle, Shakira, or J-Lo.