Lady small. Man big. Ladies: small hands, small noses. Men: big hands, big noses. This is the caveman logic of Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark, who once upon a time not so very long ago thought it was a good idea release a line of “Mansize” tissues just for men.
And just for men it is: Note the dark color scheme, the international branding signal that this is a product for The Mens. If Kleenex was a scented product, all it would need is an overly aggressive name like ARCTIC THUNDER BLAST to seal the deal.
But those halcyon days are over. The Associated Press reports that Kimberly-Clark is rebranding the “Mansize” tissues after a constant stream of consumers complaining about the sexist name. Now, the tissues will be called “Kleenex Extra Large,” which is what they should have been called in the first fucking place, and that’s not just my lady with big hands agenda talking.
But the new Kleenex packages will also say “confidently strong” and “comfortingly soft.” What?
Kimberly-Clark tells Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Thursday that it in “no way suggests” that being both soft and strong was “an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality.
“Nevertheless, as we remain committed to developing the best possible products for our consumers and take any feedback extremely seriously, we decided to renovate our current product and update the product sub-brand as Kleenex Extra Large.”
Kleenex clearly missed that moment in 2013 when every fucking online publication wrote at least 50 articles about ridiculously gendered products. But Mansize Kleenex will surely live in the top 20 most unnecessarily gendered everyday items, nestled somewhere between yogurt for men and pens for women.