Let the M&M’s Be Hot and Mean

Photo: mark phillips / Alamy Stock Photo

Have you ever gazed at a piece of chocolate and asked yourself, What if this candy were … progressive? Can’t say I have, but lucky for me, somebody thought to do just that. Mars has rolled out new versions of famed M&M’s characters to reflect what the company sees as a “more dynamic, progressive world” and what I see as a very rude corporate rebrand nobody asked for.

In the details of this socially conscious ad campaign, these beloved characters are called “lentils,” which is confusing (they are M&M’s, no?) but ultimately the most tolerable part of this development. It all begins with the removal of the gendered prefixes (each character had a “Mr.” or “Ms.” attached to their name), which seems innocent enough.

Things start to go awry with the green M&M, who is historically a bimbo. She is still round (thank God), but Mars has taken this iconically hot candy and given her sneakers, instead of sexy boots, to reflect her “effortless confidence.” (Sound familiar?)

Additionally, the company has done away with the green M&M’s long-running feud with the brown M&M because it is decidedly not women supporting women. Much like her partner in female empowerment, the brown M&M has also gotten a shoe update: Her heels are lower and therefore more “professional.” Ah, yes, just two sensibly dressed M&M’s girlbossing their way up the corporate ladder.

It doesn’t stop there. The orange M&M, who I’m just now learning is usually portrayed as a Nervous Nellie, will become the world’s first M&M mental-health advocate, embracing his anxiety to make him, allegedly, more relatable to Gen Z (??). Meanwhile, the mean red M&M will no longer be a bully.

If you don’t believe me, you can take a gander through the M&M’s website, on which our new woke M&M’s reveal themselves in snappy Q&As with slogans like “I woke up like this” and “Not bossy, just the boss.” To honor her newfound friendship with the brown M&M, the green one’s pull quote is “I’m too busy shining to throw shade.” Ugh.

As my colleague Bindu Bansinath bravely proclaimed upon hearing this news, “Leave these lentils alone, and let them throw shade.” Amen.

Let the M&M’s Be Hot and Mean