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UGG Chooses Pride, Customers Choose to Boycott

June 14, 2024

“My hope,” said comedian and commentator Alok Vaid-Menon, “is that Pride can be experienced by everyone, everywhere, every day.” Vaid-Menon, more commonly referred to as Alok, is the transgender-identifying man UGG, the widely known boot company which chose to partner with for their URSeen Pride line. In an Instagram post, he said he was “thrilled” to partner with UGG and can be seen twirling around in a pink dress in his video ad for the campaign. “I really wanted my UGG Pride collaboration to be an unapologetic embrace of vibrancy and color.”

The campaign has been met with the call for boycotts, which some have described as “deja vu” in reference to the 2023 boycotts Bud Light experienced when they hired trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney to represent the brand. According to CNN, the beer giant saw a $1.4 billion drop in sales on account of the backlash. Following the trend, UGG now faces the response of frustrated consumers.

Alok’s role in the UGG Pride line alone is upsetting Americans. As the conservative X account Libs of TikTok shared, “Alok is a radical trans activist who said ‘little girls are k*nky’ and suggests it’s their fault if a male uses the bathroom with them.” But in addition to the disfavor over a biological male parading around as a woman, many have pointed out how UGG’s rainbow line has geared their ideological merchandise toward children.

The URSeen Collection involves various rainbow themed clothing and accessories. Notably, the company included child sized slip-ons and merchandise in this line. Breitbart reported that much of the criticism is centered on the fact that UGG is “exposing children to the transgender and gay agenda” through these products. For many, the irritation seems to stem from consumers who feel that brands are not heeding to the desires of their audience. But as Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon pointed out, this behavior isn’t ultimately surprising.

She commented to The Washington Stand, “UGG tells you on their website they care ‘deeply about doing business the right way,’” which apparently takes shape in promoting someone like Alok, “a male who checks his oppression boxes by being queer from Texas.” Considering the ideological push, Kilgannon asked, “Do the women who wear these boots care about any of this?” Or rather, she added, “Do they just like the boots because they are easy to put on and ugly enough to match any outfit? Are they interested in whether or not UGG is ‘driving positive change in the world’”?

Kilgannon continued, “It’s worth noting that corporations that make politics part of the business model may not be great investments as the public grows increasingly tired of the lectures and posturing.”

This concept is something other brands seem to be catching on to. For instance, this year’s Pride Month has witnessed a significant decrease in the amount of professional sport’s teams repping the rainbow gear and showing their support for the LGBT agenda. Considering this, Kilgannon added that this “toned-down Pride Month” we’re seeing is likely “a function of election year politicking.”

She continued, “Political campaign consultants and corporate executives know that topless cavorting on the White House lawn is bad for business, no matter what business you are in.” Ultimately, Kilgannon concluded, “We will all be better off when globalization isn’t the driving factor in fashion.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.