Companies are always looking for new ways to corner the Christmas market but one design firm has courted an often controversial topic: “What if Father Christmas was rebranded for today?”
In a multinational survey, Graphic Springs, put the question to 400 members of the public in the US and asked, if Saint Nick was given a modern makeover, what would the merry Christmas icon look like? This initial sample group gave suggestions on which 4,000 people then voted with some surprising results.
11 percent of respondents believe Santa should be a woman while 17 percent would rather a gender neutral Christmas character.
However, 72 percent were still in favor of keeping Santa as a man.
Among other popular suggestions were: a change in outfit, from boots to sneakers (25 percent); the addition of some tattoos (20 percent); or even giving the poor reindeers a rest and opting for either a hoverboard (17 percent) or a flying car (22 percent) instead.
For such an inclusive and PC list, an element of fat-shaming entered the poll results with 21 percent of respondents voting that Santa, regardless of gender, should go on a diet, while 18 percent said he needs a new hairstyle and some skinny jeans.
Proposals to change the beloved yuletide hero are often met with resistance, however.
Last month, a local councillor in Newton Aycliffe in the UK railed against the town's decision to cast a woman as Santa in the town's Christmas parade.
“My understanding is that Santa Claus, otherwise called Father Christmas, is a male role. I have no issue with a Mrs Claus,” Arun Chandran told The Times.
“But Santa Claus being a man is a long-held tradition accepted by the vast majority of society.”
Meanwhile, the New Zealand town of Gisborne had no such issues, apparently opting for a “female, regional, Maori, queer” in their parade.
The female, regional, Māori, queer Santa made an appearance at the Gisborne Santa Parade today. The kids didnt seem to get too upset about it. Maybe its a Gizzy thing… or maybe just the red bands #EastCoast#Hardpic.twitter.com/FPAmmZuUIH
— Kiri Allan (@KiriAllan) December 9, 2018
While an Auckland shopping centre featured a somewhat… unusual take on the holiday hero.
A viral video from 2015 asked kids what they thought of the idea of a female Santa with many preferring to keep Saint Nick as a man as a female Santa would “get lost in the sky.” Ouch.
There were also previous, somewhat dubious, and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to rename Father Christmas as Person Christmas.
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