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Another Gift from Corporate America for Latinos: Cha cha cha, Charmin and a Public Outhouse


It’s the holidays so when I hear someone is inviting me and mi familia to a ‘history-making event’ celebrated with ‘Latin sizzle’ in none other than New York City, I am on it. If that wasn’t enough Luis Fionsi was performing and I was going to get to Cha Cha Cha all night long.

What would you think if you learned that you were actually being invited to celebrate toilet paper and a public shit house, I mean the ‘Charmin Restrooms in Times Square?’ I will tell you exactly what I think; Corporate America still doesn’t get the Hispanic consumer and a market it so desperately wants to sell anything and everything to.

To add insult to injury P&G (who owns Charmin) was trying to use my hooves to get itself into the Guinness World Record by gathering a record number of people Cha Cha Cha-ing together at the event. What does this Latin dance favorite have to do with celebrating public bathrooms and toilet paper — I’m not sure.

Of course they did appeal to my Mexican-ness by announcing we would not only be celebrating the Charmin Restrooms located stateside but also the recently opened “International Restrooms” of Mexico City. See I told you Mexico wasn’t a savage nation.

I’m just stumped as to how I’m going to sell this to my familia. Let’s see, “Mamita the gringos are throwing a fiesta for the pueblo OUTSIDE in December (already a negative, we have tropical blood running through the veins) with no free food or cervezas fria to celebrate baños that everyone from the calle shits in, hoping we will buy their toilet paper.” I can already hear her Sally Field response: “This means they love us, really really love us.”

Poor Luis Fionsi he must really need the work or he really loves Charmin’s soft ply. Of course his star stock has decidedly fallen, right after singing for President Obama at the Nobel Prize ceremony – not sure if singing to Latino’s outside a public outhouse while they cha cha cha is a step up or down from that?

A credit to P&G and other companies like them, who have come to recognize the Hispanic consumer as viable early on without needing the Census impetus. The company could of thought we still use the old style Latino latrine: a bucket and spigot. What I fear is when the final Census does come out more of Corporate America will be flinging their shit (forgive the pun) at our market demographic and God knows what else is in store for us.

What is frightening is that companies spend a lot of money trying to figure out how to most effectively reach out to the Hispanic consumer, which basically is no different than anyone else - shockingly we even go to the bathroom the same way. I just don’t know whose input they are getting, maybe angry, paunchy middle-aged men? Think a Glenn Beck or Mitch McConnell.

I thought Charmin’s ‘Mimalos con Charmin’ campaign which loosely translated means pamper them [your family] with Charmin, was bad enough. I don’t see how anyone could thinking buying toilet paper for your family is pampering them, what’s the other option letting them use their hand???? Dios Mio. In closing, remember Latinos to Cha Cha Cha and Wipe while thanking Corporate America for thinking of us during this holiday season even if only while we’re using the toilet.

author details

Estelle Gonzales Walgreen

Estelle Gonzales Walgreen is a first generation Mexican-American and entrepreneur of convenience enjoying the next phase of her quixotic life-journey fulfilling a dream to write in order to make people laugh sideways and avoid institutionalization. Most recently Estelle co-founded HS-News serving as its Editor-in-Chief since no one else applied. She cries when mistaken for Jessica Alba her reptilian manicurist and smiles when engaging in taco politics.

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