Sometimes I watch my son play soccer and imagine that one day, he’ll be in the Olympics. Sometimes I watch him build things out of LEGO and imagine that one day, he’ll be an engineer.
My son is 7. I’m not sure who or what he will be when he reaches adulthood, but as his mom, you better believe I’m his biggest cheerleader and encourager. I tell him he can do anything he wants. I saturate him with praise when he does something well and I console him and lift him up when he falls short.
Because that’s what moms are supposed to do, right?
We’re supposed to see the best in our children and to fill them up with love and confidence. We’re supposed to shout their little victories from the roof tops and be there with hugs, ice cream, and “You’ll get it next time, honey’s” when they stumble.
Do my kids appreciate this blind love and belief that they will rise to be superstars at whatever their passions and talents propel them to? Nah. I’m not even sure if they’re aware of it, and that’s okay. Because as nice as it would be to one day hear, “Thanks for loving me and believing in me, Mom,” my unwavering support of my children is … well, just part of what makes me mom. And I know I’m not alone in that sentiment.
Procter & Gamble beautifully illustrates the power of a mother’s love in #LoveOverBias, the latest video installment of the company’s ongoing “Thank You, Mom” campaign.
The video is tied to the 2018 Winter Olympics and comes on the heels of P&G’s celebrated spot “The Talk” and it’s larger “Black is Beautiful” campaign. “The Talk” is intended to drive awareness to inclusion and end bias and the over-arching “Black is Beautiful” campaign strives to deliver meaningful branded content to women of color.
Although this latest “Thank You, Mom” ad doesn’t specifically address race or ethnicity, the fact that the actors represent diverse groups is hard to miss. While the video does get the viewer excited about the upcoming Winter games, the message is not about being an athlete. It’s about inclusion, acceptance, and the power of a mother’s love.
The clip begins with a little girl jumping on her bed in a room full of posters of famous female skiers. Her mom watches from the doorway with an indulgent smile, probably imaging what might one day be possible for her daughter, just like I do from my spot of the sidelines of the soccer field.
The video is set to the tune of the classic song, “Oooh Child (Things are Gonna Get Easier),” though this updated version performed by Milck is slower, gentler, and far more stirring. In just a minute and a half, we see different mothers with different children who are following their dreams in different ways. The moms are pictured doing what moms do: encouraging, comforting, and nurturing.
The clip ends with the same mom who watched her little girl jump on the bed, except the bed now sits on an Olympic ski slope, and moments later we see the little girl turned into a blazing-fast Olympian.
It’s then that a simple yet powerful message appears on the screen: “Imagine if the world could see what a mom sees.”
Think about it. What if everyone saw our kids’ potential and possibilities the way that we do? How awesome would this world be if we all had that level of faith in this next generation?
People might look at my son and see an Asian boy or a boy with a physical disability. I see him as fast, fearless, and tenacious. I have zero doubts he’ll kick ass at life, but there will come a point where he’ll realize that not everyone thinks he’s as awesome as his mom does.
I guess that means I’ll have to love him harder and cheer a little louder.
Although this message is universal, it’s particularly poignant for moms of children of color or with physical differences. The message of inclusion, possibilities and #LoveOverBias is crystal clear. It challenges us to look beyond physical differences and put away our stereotypes and give this next generation the chance they deserve.
No matter how open-minded or inclusive you believe yourself to be, this less-than-two-minute video will make you think and resolve to do better. Because, no matter how open-minded or inclusive you are, you can do better. We all can.
Fair warning, though: This video will also reduce you to a blubbering mess. Saying it’ll “tug at your heart strings” doesn’t even cut it — it’ll smack you right in the feels … but in a good way, that makes you want to hug your kid and do more to be the good in the world.
I hope #LoveOverBias catches fire. This world can definitely use a little more love and a little less bias. And, that starts with all of us.