In case you haven't seen the Nascar Superbowl Commercial calling those who are gluten-free, "soft", you can watch it here. For the most part, I've been sitting back and reading people's comments as this all unfolds. Listening to everyone's point of view saying how they are either outraged or that we can't take a joke. Whatever your opinion on the matter may be, I really suggest you keep in mind the few things I share below no matter how this situation pans out.
This incident will hurt the view of being gluten-free, one way or another
I wasn't offended by the joke when I first watched the commercial. I knew that they referring to the fad dieters by calling them "soft". But do you know why I knew that? Because I'm educated on Celiac Disease and know the difference between fad dieters. Do you know who's not educated on Celiac Disease and doesn't know the difference between fad dieters? A majority of America.
Whether this commercial was offensive to you or not, it is not good for our community. It's either directly hurting those of us who took it the wrong way, or it's going to hurt us in the future and cause us not to be taken seriously. One way or another, it's going to hurt us in the long run because the fact is a majority of America isn't educated about our disease.
It's created a lot of hurtful comments against each other
The worst part about all this is the terrible comments I've seen from some people in the gluten-free community. Now I'm a teenager so believe me, if I get pissed off about something I'm very passionate about, I probably won't hold back. But using these hurtful comments against each others and deciding to type in ALL CAPS just makes you look ridiculous. Coming from a 17 year old, stop with the ALL CAPS and hurtful comments to each other. We all have a common enemy and it's the media for creating all this crap in the first place. If you're going to go off on somebody, save it for the people who created this ad, not each other.
We still aren't taken seriously and won't be unless we keep advocating
As a teenager with Celiac, I am fed up with these type of commercials and how it leads to us being looked at as a joke. This isn't the first time something like this has happened and sadly, it won't be the last. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten emails from mothers who say their kids have gotten bullied for being gluten-free. How many times I've had to talk to kids themselves and tell them it's going to get better. But as I grow older, I'm starting to see it's not getting better at all. You may think that the world of being gluten-free as a kid is harder, but I'm starting to see it's just the same.
So...let's work to give ourselves and kids with food allergies a better world to come into. Let's work to change the view on being gluten-free for our generation and the next because we're the only ones who can do it. Start by signing this petition to remove this commercial and keep advocating for yourself any chance you get. The only way we can make these commercials stop is by making everyone aware of the disease we have. As a 17 year old and as someone who has seen kids get bullied every day, let's advocate and make this a world where we can be taken seriously for being gluten-free.
Update from GlutenDude:
"Jan 31, 2015 — NBC has announced they will remove the gluten reference for the 60 second ad. That's cool. But there is still a 30 second ad and believe it or not, a 2 minute ad that will most likely still contain the reference. Keep the signatures coming folks. We have 30 hours." Sign this petition and keep up with the support!