My Thoughts on My Pillow

FEBRUARY 1, 2019

We’ve all seen the My Pillow commercials that pepper our television viewing. Mike Lindell touting the best pillows since ever, which will cure what ails you and give you the best sleep of your life. Have you ever noticed that in the commercials, all minority groups are equally represented? Great, right?? Wrong. There are equally zero non-white actors and customers present in the commercials. Well, one commercial features vaguely Latino factory workers in the background. (That didn’t help matters, Mike!) They appear to be really happy to be making pillows. For white people.

I used to find the campiness of these commercials sort of charming. Mike walked that fine line between creepy and endearing, somehow always landing just barely on the endearing side. And I loved the older commercial that told the story of how his pillow dream became a reality. But then I started to notice that all the actors in the commercials were as white as the pillows. All of them! (Save for the aforementioned factory workers.) There are about twelve different actors per commercial. About twelve of them are white. You have to work hard to pull that off in this day and age. What are the auditions like for these commercials? Is there some secret code in the casting call that says, ‘if you’re not white, don’t bother showing up’? Or is there a lot of, ‘thank you, next’ until they get their dozen white pillow ambassadors?

There is even a lack of diversity amongst the white actors. The women are largely blond. Next time you see one of the commercials, count the blonde to brunette ratio. Any brunette woman will tell you that we pay attention to these things. All the comparison commercials where the blonde gets her laundry-dishes-floors cleaner or brighter than the brunette who just can’t quite attain the same levels of gleam. And here in MyPillowLand, with the implication that brunettes (along with all the non-white people of the world) don’t desire or deserve a nice pillow upon which to lay their heads.

My Pillow has been so successful, that now Mike is expanding into other product lines: a mattress topper and most recently, sheets. Mike takes time in his new commercial to let us know that the sheets are made with the best cotton sourced from…wait for it…Africa. Let’s all pause a moment for the irony to stop reverberating. I think my dental fillings are rattling loose.

So Mike…COME ON DUDE! Were you determined to join the ranks of Hollywood movies that STILL, ALWAYS kill off the black character first, or the bridal gown industry that thinks their only customers are white brides who don’t want to have the image of brown-skinned models in a dress they might wear? (Really. It’s a thing. Google “wedding dresses” and check out the images. Put on your sunglasses first. It’s not just the dresses that are overwhelmingly white.)

I have no neat little lesson to tie back into marketing for this entry (other than, don’t do what Mike does). This is just a rant. I’m irritated, vexed, flummoxed by Mike & his Super White Pillows. The end.