The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Why Pez Was More Effective Than Most Company DEI Policies …

Recently I watched a fascinating documentary on the Pez community.

For those who don’t know what Pez is … it’s a confectionary that came with a dispenser that had a ‘flipping head’ to access them.

This ‘flipping head’ came in all manner of shapes and sizes, which is what made them collectable, despite them being cheap … cheerful … and absolutely everywhere.

Not only did the documentary, The Pez Outlaw – on Netflix, reveal there was a community of collectors … not only did it show how obsessive and passionate they were … but it highlighted how we, as humans, have an inherent need to feel ‘we matter’ while companies long to feel constantly in control.

I know that sounds like a massive overstatement for a documentary on Pez sweets, but I assure you it’s not and here’s the trailer to whet your appetite.

But that’s not actually why I’ve written this post.

It’s because I saw something in the doco that stood out for incredible reasons.

Not for the price it’s being offered at – which, I admit, is a lot – but for what it represents.

It’s this.

Yep, a Black Santa.

That may not seem much to write about, but remember it’s only in the last few years we’ve seen the first magazine dedicated to little boys and girls who are Black, Fenty launched a foundation that catered for African American skin [rather than expecting people to work with foundation that was designed for white skin] and a medical journal showed a Black fetus.

In other words, a sweet company was more progressive about diversity and inclusion than the vast majority of organisations. In fact, they probably still are.

Or should I say, the international division of Pez was because it appears the US subsidiary – who don’t come out of the documentary well at all – vetoed the variant.

It blows my mind we’re still at this stage of societal acceptance.

It blows my mind that some people still don’t want it to go further.

And while many would like to suggest this is just an American problem, they’re wrong.

It’s not that long ago that I heard families in Fulham complain that the Santa the school had brought in, was Black. I remember listening to them and not being able to compute what they were saying – especially as the school had a high proportion of Kids of Colour attending there.

Eventually I lost my shit and asked why they were being delusionally protective about a mythical figure … a mythical figure who supposedly wants all kids to feel happy and seen and yet, until the school did this, there was a high chance any kid who wasn’t white had felt Santa was never really for them and so they were always experiencing it from the outskirts rather than the middle.

Of course People of Colour know this because they face this bullshit every single day … which is why, for all the twists and turns of Pez, they knew how to make every one of their customers feel they were for them, not just about them.

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