IKEA Faces Backlash for Pride-Themed Couch | 22 Words

Ikea is the first-ever home furnishing brand to create 10 "love seats" with designs inspired by various LGBTQ+ flags. However, not everyone loves them...

And one sofa, in particular, is gaining a lot of mixed reactions online. The sofa in question is based on the bisexual flag and is covered in handprints. Although It's the cushions on the Sofa that have caused quite a backlash, they read: "When you change Or to And, nobody believes you."

Ikea says the design, by Charlotte Carbone, is inspired by a poem written by Brian Lanigan about his experience with being bisexual, he later took to Twitter to explain his poem.

"We wanted to do something that highlighted the diversity within the 2SLGBTQ+ community because there are so many identities that aren't given as much space or attention during Pride, especially during COVID-19," says Claudia Mayne, Ikea Canada marketing director.

But people online have a lot to say about the design and the words used...

One Twitter user wrote: "Finally someone said it: bisexuality is when the Hands Monster is about to briefly appear, leaving no trace behind when he leaves, so when you try to describe him to someone, 'nobody believes you.'"

While another wrote: "I don't know if I'll ever stop thinking about the Ikea bisexual pride couch saying "nobody believes you" like how the fuck is this real."

A third commented: "Why is queer media and paraphernalia so obsessed with making the central thing about pain rather than joy. Like why does the bisexual couch have to reference trauma? Even if it's intended to be an art piece having the central theme of the bisexual pride object be about the struggle of erasure and societal oppression rather than about like. The pride and joy of it is a strange choice to me. Why is a couch bringing up trauma?"

However, not everyone hated the design and one Twitter user dug deeper into its meaning by writing: "It made me feel like the goal of the couch was to showcase the connections he felt with other people in his community. Showing that even though he faced bi-phobia he had so many amazing connections because his feelings resonated with others who felt his pain."

The love seat is part of a campaign created by ad agency Rethink, illustrator and muralist Madison Van Rijn, and fashion designers Carbone, Ali Haider, and Bianca Daniela Nachtman. Each seat in the campaign was designed to represent different sexual identities, including in its range; asexual, bisexual, lesbian, nonbinary, pansexual, and transgender.

With each design there were people to tell their own story and what this means to them. Clearly, not all the love seats are winners, but you can't say they're not innovative.