The Furor Over Fluid

I had planned to stay away from this one as far as The Tickle Trunk was concerned but it's become so huge that I just feel we need to say something. For anyone who hasn't looked at facebook, the internet in general, or touched a newspaper in the past two days, there has been an ongoing media frenzy about an ad campaign launched some time ago by Fluid hair salon in Edmonton. The campaign features women in violent and dangerous situations with fabulous hair and the tag line 'Look Good in All You Do'.

I'm not going to get into the comments that have been made about it or the salon's response to the outcry. Those things are available for view in various places all over the internet. I just want to say a few things about how the Tickle Trunk responds to this.

Fluid is our neighbor. They are across the alley from us. They operate within our community and serve our customers, our neighbors and community. We want to cultivate good relationships among our neighbors and are therefore loathe to criticize. We understand that we all work very hard at our businesses and that we face many challenges as small business owners. I do feel for what Sarah, the owner of Fluid is going through right now with such a huge unexpected firestorm of controversy around her. This could devastate her business and for that I am very sorry.

However, I am disturbed by the campaign. I want to see our community rally together against violence, particularly in light of some of the terrible violent incidents that have happened here, not make light of them. Various people have said the campaign, especially the image that has been all over facebook and the internet, could be interpreted in lots of different ways but it's quite clear what the intention was and how most people are interpreting it. Most people perceive it to say that getting beat up is something that's pretty common for women so hey, you might as well look fabulous while it happens. That's just not okay with me. I don't think violence against women, or against anyone, is acceptable, commonplace, amusing, or something that should be used to sell goods or services.

So as much as we love and support the businesses in Old Strathcona, and especially East Whyte where we are, The Tickle Trunk and I are not okay with this campaign. But we understand that business owners make mistakes. We've certainly made a bunch of them ourselves. When we find that we've done something that hurts our community, we seek to apologize and repair the damage. Our hope is that the owner of Fluid will accept that she made an error in judgement with this campaign. That even though it may not have been their intention, Fluid has offended and hurt their customers and their community with this message and campaign. We hope they will apologize and stop running ads that trivialize or glorify violence. And we hope that if and when they do apologize and change their advertising, we will all support them by using their services. This is how we grow responsible and respectful communities.

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