Behold, the Martin "Loofah" King Exfoliating Glove!

MLKloofah.png
"I have a clean...and so can you, for just $6.92!"
Have you been searching high and low for that "fantastic novelty house warming gift," as Amazon.com puts it? Have you been dreaming of a way to make it so that your "skin appears always fresh," while scrubbing your ass with the face of the man who dreamed his children would not be "judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"?

Then perhaps the Martin Loofah King exfoliating glove is for you!!!!!

We were tipped off to the existence of this pun-based product by an eagle eyed art student at MICA. It's currently for sale at Amazon, who hawks it this way (emphasis ours):

This fantastic Exfoliating Glove celebrates the one and only Martin Luther King. The Martin Loofah King is an ideal way of removing dead skin cells, whilst celebrating one of the world's most famous civil rights activists. "I have a clean!" is printed on the back of the glove, whilst Martin Luther King's face is on the exfoliating side. The Martin Loofah King Exfoliating Glove makes an ideal Birthday gift.
And all for just $6.92!!!!!

The copy alone raises several questions:

  • Is the fact that "I have a clean!" is on the back and King's face is on the exfoliating side really a selling point?

  • Are "Luther" and "Loofah" and "dream" and "clean" so frickin' similar that they are worthy of creating such an absurd product, just for the sake of making puns?

  • This "makes an ideal Birthday gift" for whom, exactly? David Duke? (Maybe it was the ideal "novelty house warming gift" for Rick Perry when he moved into his ranch?)

  • Is this such a high concept, Victorian-England-era product that the word "whilst" belongs anywhere in the advertising copy?

  • Who the hell at Amazon thought that peddling the most revered American civil rights leader of the 20th century as a tchotchke you might have bought at Spencer's in your neighborhood suburban mall (circa 1984) was a good idea?
  • Fortunately, Amazon's reviewers have risen to the satirical occasion. Writes user "Charles Wise":

    "I was taking a shower the other day, and I was thinking, 'Oh, no! Martin Luther King day is this Monday! How am I supposed to honour the memory of one of the greatest civil rights activists who ever lived, right here in my shower? Everyone's going to think I'm a racist if I don't find a way!' But, finally, this loofah comes from the heavens, truly a gift from Jesus (black Jesus), allowing me to rub Martin Luther King, Jr's face all over my body. It's as if I'm making sweet, sweet love to the finest man of the 20th century (after Teddy Roosevelt, of course). Now, when I'm at the gym showers, rubbing Martin Luther King all over my sweaty posterior, people will know that I think Hitler was wrong."

    User "Beck" put it this way:

    "My goodness! I wasn't sure if this was racist when I ordered it but now 'I have a clean' and I know that it is not! My kids now know all about this great civil rights leader all because of this charming loofa!"

    And user "Kenneth Sorenson" rounded out the satire writing the Loofah King exfoliator is:

    "not a bad deal. It exfoliates as well as the one I bought a while back, but the older model plays music while you use it. It's called the 'Loofah Vandross', and is usable 365 days per year, unlike this one which can only by used on MLK day every January."

    Some criticism was more blunt, forgoing the satire altogether. "Marvin McHardy" writes,

    "So this is the kind of think Amazon allows on it's site, the mocking of Historical figures, in what is a blatant slap at race relations. This man lived and died for a cause that would benefit us all. And he is remembered by this childish affront at decency,"
    and "S.Cohen" adds,
    "Even if he were not one of the greatest men who ever lived, he IS dead, & it's the lowest of the low who mock those who cannot fight back. Luckily,the King family is very careful about who does what with Dr. King's likeness - if Amazon is so stupid as to keep this on their website, the family will find out about it soon enough & deal with the maker."

    We have reached out to both the King Center and to Amazon.com and will update with their reactions.

    sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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    4 comments
    Jesus
    Jesus

    What's the big deal? It's a little humorous. Get over it. It's not like the faces of hundreds of otherHistorically significant people are being Everyday just to promote a product. I Don't see anyone giving a crap about Them. The loofah isn't even offense to Anyone. Its funny, laugh a little and justMove on.

    pschase
    pschase

    Bunch of f***kin loofahs...

    Gordon
    Gordon

    Shouldn't Bill O'Reilly's mug be plastered all over any promotional loofah?

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