Ms Green: if you haven’t fantasised about her, you’ve most certainly eaten her. Because how do you sell a small piece of colourful chocolate? You sexualise it, of course!
Ms Green is an animated, anthropomorphic character used in M&M advertisements along with her other five delicious friends. Her classic look, which she’s sported for years, is white gogo boots, thick lashes, sharp brows, and green, glossy lips. She’s the manic pixie dream girl of the candy world, who, according to her Fandom Wiki page, likes simple candlelight dinners in Paris and dislikes men and women who stare. Touché, girl!
She has even landed multiple Sports Illustrated covers: standing in the icy Arctic, she is photographed unzipping her green shell, her chic snow boots matching a pair of gloves, sleek brows arching over a pair of sultry lashes. In another, her naked chocolate body sits in a steaming hot spring (how did she not melt?), teasingly holding up her rumpled green shell above the water. Her eyebrow is cheekily arched, suggestive, and she pouts her glossy ganache lips. Ms Green’s beach photoshoot resulted in multiple poster-worthy snaps: Ms Green crawling on her hands and knees across the white sand; Ms Green kneeling in a rocky beach alcove, clutching her green shell, glancing at the camera as if she’s just been caught off-guard; Ms Green peaking wistfully through a gap behind some palm fronds, again holding – not wearing – her green shell.
So how did this sex icon rise to fame? What brought her to rock her round, brown bod on the global screen, feeding fantasies and stomachs alike?
In the 1950s, when television advertisements became popular, Mars created their first two M&M characters to star in their advertisements – Mr Plain and Mr Peanut, “the good guys”. They were lifeless characters, who didn’t do much except exist. But the advertisements, which wanted to showcase the ingenious purpose of the candy shell which encases the small pellets of chocolate, had an unforgettable slogan: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Innuendo, here we come. In the 70s, an M&M urban legend bloomed, claiming that the green ones made people horny. As the kids who excitedly recited this legend to one another grew up, “horny” morphed into “pregnant,” and the legend died out.
In 1995, advertising and copywriter superstar Susan Credle was recruited to create a new campaign for M&M, because by now, Mr Plain and Mr Peanut were mostly forgotten. She recalled the mischievous urban legend of her childhood, and decided, in the name of new characterisation and sophistication, to create the first-ever female M&M. Enter: Ms Green. Credle herself described her vision of Ms Green’s character as confident, strong, and sexy.
In one of Ms Green’s early T.V. appearances, she flirts with American talk show host Dennis Miller while being interviewed on his show. When he remarks about how busy she’s been, she says, “Well, my new movie’s opening. And no, Dennis, I don’t remove my shell.” Her voice is sultry, sweet, alluring. In another ad, she seductively speaks over an exotic soundtrack, introducing new M&M flavours like personal offerings.
Since her inception, Ms Green has achieved incredible stardom and success. She has no biological female parts – physically, she cannot have sex – and yet she is deemed by the male gaze as extremely sexy. Her anthropomorphism isn’t uncanny, but beautiful; she literally embodies the gendering of candy, confidently flaunting the relationship between food and innuendo in a flawless and dazzling plight of consumerism.
But on June 29, 2015, her character went beyond gender and was actually assigned, in the eyes of the public, a sexual identity. The M&M official Twitter tweeted a picture of Ms Green and her other female team member Ms Brown. The former has eyelashes and the latter has glasses – the only two ways women can exist, right? The picture was accompanied by the caption, “It’s rare Ms Brown and I get to spend time together without some colourful characters barging in,” and upon reading this, the internet went crazy. It was immediately assumed that the two M&Ms were dating. It was the perfect lesbian relationship: the academic, coy, glasses-wearing woman and the playful, daring, heal-clicking chick. These candy characters were now entrenched in the theories and ideologies of sex, gender, sexuality, identity, and relationships. And it doesn’t stop there.
Remember Mr Plain and Mr Peanut? The boring dudes? Well, Mr Plain was red and Mr Peanut was… green. Facing this discovery, the internet came immediately to the conclusion that Ms Green is, in fact, the transitioned version of Mr Peanut. Yes, Ms Green is a trans lesbian icon.
It would be a stunning happily-ever-after if this was, indeed, the end. As a character, Ms Green is exceptional. Her catchphrase is “I don’t melt for no one,” and her age is listed on her Fandom Wiki page as “old enough to know better.” Her skills are management and intimidation – okay, girlboss! – and she has an “outwards character who always has something to say.” She’s out to impress. She’s self-aware. She’s annoyed by boys’ lack of confidence and in general, she steals the spotlight – officially, she’s “too busy shining to throw shade.” What’s not to love?
Actually, Mars has an answer to that. And their answer is: everything. In recent photoshoots of the entire M&M team, Ms Green poses with the gang wearing plain, white sneakers. Her go-go boots are gone. Cue emotional breakdown. Mars has robbed her of her feminine mystique in the name of “progress” and “the interests of Gen Z,” but as Rolling Stone so aptly put it: “Let the green M&M be a nasty little slut.”
By desexualising Ms Green, Mars has completely robbed her of the sexual agency her fans had come to love, an agency that was feminist, powerful, queer, and celebratory. She was body-positive and openly vulnerable, unafraid to strip her shell and reveal her true self beneath all the makeup and bright green. Ms Green is the bastard child of consumerism and the male gaze, but she hasn’t let that define her. Instead, she transcended the boundaries of her character stereotype. As she once drawled, she is “everything your heart desires.”