Why The Nascar Superbowl Commercial Is Bad For Us Whether You Find It Offensive or Not

From a Teenager's Perspective
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!
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  1. Kudos Taylor. I simply don't understand why so many people, even some of our fellow celiacs, can't see it this way.

  2. Very well said Taylor. This is exactly what I was explaining to my 18 year old son this morning. I believe in free speech and it is NBC's choice whether or not to run this ad, but I agree with you that there needs to be some responsibility that goes along with free speech. The hate, ignorance and bullying of people who are gluten free really needs to stop and this ad does not help matters. Most people will not differentiate between gf hipsters and people with a true medical issue in this ad. It's too vague. I also have Celiac and from my observation the media has gotten even more cruel than it was 8 years ago when I was first diagnosed. Thank you for taking the time to articulate this in an intelligent, educated way. It is appreciated.

  3. Well said, thank you. Sharing it with my two teenage daughters who have Celiac and didnt view the commercial the same as me.

  4. Good Job Taylor.
    I had to post as anonymous but My name is Dawn Scheu I am one of the owners of Nosey Dog Detection Partners, I have Celiac and I also have Willow a gluten detection dog. We are currently training more dogs like her. If people really understood how serious celiac disease can get and how many other autoimmune diseases can co exist with it people would look at it more seriously. I wouldn't be contacting me daily about gluten detection dogs. What a lot of celiacs don't even understand i s with some co existing autoimmune diseases even a cross contamination can kill or have paralyzing effects. Thanks for having such a mature attitude, the celiac community can use more people like you.

  5. It should read: People wouldn't be contacting me daily about gluten detection dogs. One again Good Job Taylor

  6. I'm not totally sure I agree with the notion the commercial is hateful towards people who either suffer from gluten intolerance or, in my case, celiac disease. There are times when I grave the foods I can no longer eat and attempt to justify eating a gigantic greasy cheese burger by telling myself, “celiac decease is for wimps…..deal with it and indulge in the burger.”
    I spent the better part of 50 years eating anything I wanted only to be told 2 years ago I have to completely change my eating habits. Grrrr! There are times this disease is extremely frustrating, irritating, and problematic (especially when traveling) so, I believe we all need a good laugh from time to time even when we laugh at ourselves for the lifestyle we’ve been dealt. In my lifetime I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of fads come and go. For some being GF is just that, a fad. For us it’s not but, that’s OK. Knowing I have it and can do something about it is way better than the alternative. So why not laugh and enjoy it!
    Taylor, I love your blog and applaud your efforts. Keep it up – you’re doing a great job! P.S. thank you for the ice cream list. I love Haagen Dazs.