Tylenol’s holiday campaign puts a blended same-sex Jewish family front and center

Yes, it’s designed to make you feel good about Tylenol so that you’re more likely to buy Tylenol.

But it’s also transgressive, and touching as hell, and there is power in visibility like this. And we’ll know just how much power if conservative “pro-family” groups call for a boycott of Tylenol in response to this commercial — I’d say it’s all but inevitable, given how much they freaked out about interracial and same-sex parented Cheerios families.

What’s fascinating — and very welcome indeed — is that these ads seem designed to explicitly question and redefine not just to what it means to be a family, but to what it means to be an American family.

In these videos, which are laudable even if they are ads, what it means to be an American family is, in the words of Norman Rockwell’s granddaughter, “expanding and blossoming, so it’s not this rigid, fixed picture.” All that’s left of Norman Rockwell is the meal and the sense of togetherness. In other words, all that’s left are the good parts.

Check out the other ads in the series, about the Garza family, and the Yee Hoshida family.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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