If you’re a lady who finds herself at a baseball game this summer, fortunately, Frito-Lay just rolled out a little something for you in time for opening day!
On Tuesday, the company announced that Cracker Jack will be joined by none other than, “Cracker Jill” — his female counterpart in all things caramel-coated crunch. Available now in ballparks across the country, special edition Cracker Jack bags spotlight five different Cracker Jill versions of varying — yet ambiguous — racial identities. Each bag’s “Jill” is outfitted in traditionally-feminized sailor suits and posed a la Rosie the Riveter. At long last, #representation.
“We are constantly inspired by the many women who are making history by breaking the mold, and we want to celebrate their achievements while supporting the progress,” said Tina Mahal, Vice President of Marketing for Frito-Lay North America in an accompanying statement. “We’ve been so inspired by how girls and women are changing the face of the game, so in this spirit we introduce Cracker Jill to show girls that they’re represented even in our most iconic snacks.”
Frito-Lay also released a music video that sees Normani performing a remixed rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” On a baseball diamond, the singer gives us the classic tune with updated lyrics that include: “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill/no one can stop you if you have the will” and “So let’s root, root, root for a girl’s dream/we’re adding our face to the game.”
Thus far, Twitter has been mystified by the announcement, with some users saying Cracker Jill sounded like a racial slur for white women and others, well, making bad jokes about this iteration being sold without nuts.
Though not a complete strikeout — the company is also donating $200,000 to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a national non-profit that advocates on behalf of women and girls in sports — it would’ve been cool to see these capitalists get a little more creative.
Perhaps Frito-Lay could’ve just put Lia Thomas or Sha’Carri Richardson on the bags considering they’re currently unprecedented athletes in their respective sports and, as Mahal said, “breaking the mold.” Or maybe, the surprise in every serving could just be an unfair contract as a reminder that women and femme athletes remain grossly underpaid? Better yet, how about nixing the idea altogether and investing the energy used here in advocating on behalf of basketball star Brittney Griner, who is still being held hostage in Russia.
In short: This was anything but a home run. Back to the dug-out, Frito-Lay.