Grooming has been defined as an approach to manipulating someone by exploiting their vulnerabilities. This can take many forms, but one example is placing intimate adult products near children that they may be more likely to take, such as toothbrushes. There are many people who are mad at Walmart for this reason. They feel like the company is exploiting children by placing adult products near children’s toothbrushes. They argue that this is a way to groom children, and make them more likely to buy adult products or normalize it in their minds. Controversial politician Marjorie Taylor Greene called out Walmart for this, making the situation go viral, and now their response is sparking even more controversy.
Recently Marjorie Taylor Greene posted pictures showing adult products next to children’s toothbrushes in Walmart with a tweet that read, “Walmart many of your customers in my district are reaching out to me about $ex toys being sold in your Dalton store. They’re extremely upset and absolutely horrified that $ex toys are being sold openly right next to children’s toothbrushes! This is grooming”.
Did Walmart Admit ‘Grooming’ Children In Response to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Accusations?
According to Newsweek a spokesperson for Walmart responded to Greene’s grooming accusations simply calling it a “mistake” that has been corrected. Apparently they didn’t explain why the mistake happened, and why no one in their store thought to fix it before it became a public issue. Conspiracy theorists believe that subliminally Walmart admitted to grooming, and are now trying to save face similar to how Balenciaga called their cancelled ad a mistake as well. Others feel that Walmart is not grooming children in the way that people are accusing them of. They argue that the products are simply placed where they are likely to be found, and not targeted at children specifically.
It is hard to say definitively whether, or not Walmart is grooming children. However, the accusations have raised a lot of awareness and sparked a lot of conversation. Regardless of whether or not Walmart is actually grooming children, the conversation around the issue is definitely worth having, and their product placement was definitely sketchy.