How to stop Tropicana telling parents to hide and drink – by Colleen Perry
In December Tropicana launched the #TakeaMimoment campaign on Instagram. It featured several celebrities and Instagram influencers. In the advertisements they quietly sneaked away from their kids. They locked themselves in a bathroom, or hid under a porch, and talked about challenges of being a parent during a pandemic.
They then unveiled their Tropicana fridges. They were designed to look like regular household items like toolboxes or clothes hampers. When opened, they revealed the ingredients for mimosas. The celebrities made drinks and talked about how mimosas made things easier or made them a better parent.
It made me upset.
During childhood, my Mom tried to hide her Alcohol. I found half-finished beers tucked behind the casserole dishes or under the bathroom sink. Her personality would change when she drank. I was too young to understand addiction, but I could tell something was wrong. She would yell at me for hours on end or forget to feed me dinner. When my Dad got home there were terrible fights. For me, all alcohol did was bring misery.
I was angry that Tropicana was making light of hiding drinks. Locking yourself in a closet and sneaking a Mimosa does not make you a better parent. It just hurts those around you.
When I became aware of the Tropicana campaign, the sober community on Instagram was already speaking out. I am so thankful they did. I immediately felt the need to join them. It was an issue that touched children of alcoholics too.
So, I started talking.
I commented on Tropicana’s post, telling my story. How my Mothers alcoholism shaped me. How drinking in a closet alone is problematic. How encouraging this type of behavior is irresponsible. I posted a video, taking about how hurtful the ad was.
My community jumped to action. They shared my video. They put comments up on Tropicana’s post, telling their stories. It was incredible to watch this community step up and speak out.
In the end Tropicana pulled the campaign and issued an apology. It was an unfortunate situation, but It felt good that we could come together and create change.
For me, the experience showed me where I was needed. I have been telling my story for about a year. I have enjoyed connecting with others yet did not know what came next. My involvement with Tropicana showed me I can use my story to advocate for meaningful change.
Alcoholism is a huge issue within society. It creates damage to families and children. It robs people of their lives. it has wide reaching consequences, but it is barely talked about. We need to start having earnest conversations about its impact on our lives. It is my hope to help start them. Together, we have the power to change the conversation, and make things better for the next generation