Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Ways to Spoil Her Valentines Day

I went to the Vermont Teddy Bear website and looked at the wares as instructed to do by a commercial.

The commercial features a split screen, on one side a close up of one of the (many) available bears (starting at only $49!) and the other side one of several girls with JC Penney Catalog good looks dances around with either said teddy bear or said teddy bear plus the male who presumably gave it to her. Often, the bear and the girl are wearing matching outfits. At one point the camera closes in on a guy's (heart shaped) tattoo. For some reason.

I saw earlier today. There's a category on the first page called: "Show Her You Know Her." I'd like to point out that just the fact that you are giving her a present should tip her off that you have, in fact, met her. And giving her one that's dressed in an outfit that matches her job (a nurse gets a nurse bear, a homemaker gets homemaker bear, the Mexican maid gets Mexican maid bear) doesn't necessarily mean you know her other beyond reading her MySpace profile. I was going to make a joke about "business casual bear" but I can't because they actually have a business casual bear. I also feel that I should stop here because making fun of this website is just too damn easy. (Okay, one more: Huggable Hunk Bear - Someone has decided to sexualize a bear by putting him in boxer briefs. You can also choose to have a personalized, hear shaped tattoo on this particular bear. What a nod to Christian weirdos and their pervasive, persistent sexual confusion and misinformation).

I fantasize about the type of women excited by these gifts. She's probably a little overweight. She might have really long hair, the length of which is a point of pride for her. She definitely collects things. She may or may not have a tattoo on the small of her back or possibly her calf - if she does, it's of some Disney character and it was done poorly. She wears scrubs every day (possibly for no good reason other than "They're comfortable!" except for when she goes out to dinner (her favorite restaurant is The Olive Garden) which time she puts on a pair of jeans, a hoodie, ridiculous, ugly chunky black patent platform sandals and too much makeup. She loves animals but has little to no contact with them regularly, unless she is, of course, a vet tech. Her bedroom is pink and frilly, despite the fact that she's 29, because she's desperately trying to stay 12 but still wants to appear sexy and attractive.

I find these sorts of things depressing. I fail to understand what kind of meaning someone can derive from being given a dressed up bear beyond the fact that he was willing to spend fifty bucks. I am pained by the fact that so many women would find the gift of one of these objects thoughtful and sweet. Finally, man hating feminist I am not, I find the idea of being given a toy, meant for children, a little demeaning.

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