Posted by: amamasblog | December 10, 2007

Should Santa Be Thin?

I came across this video clip on Yahoo tonight, and watched it- mainly because I couldn’t believe the heading: Experts Believe Santa’s Body Image Harmful (or something close to that- I don’t remember it word for word).

The clip is about two minutes, and it did raise some good points on the health of the actual people who play Santa in the malls, and some of the problems they may encounter from being overweight.  It said the “experts” agree that Santa is a role model, and kids look up to him- but come on- it is SANTA!

I have never heard a child say he wanted to be overweight, fat, obese, etc., because Santa Claus is.  Isn’t Santa like the constant that every kid has?  Kids look up to Santa because he is magical, kind, happy, generous, and loving- the best of the human spirit.

This clip said there is an actual website and movement devoted to keeping Santa fat.  One of the men who runs the website asks something like, what was next?  Are we going to start melting pounds off Frosty the Snowman?  What about the Easter Bunny?  He said he was starting to look a little chubby.  He said this was absolutely ridiculous.

Then the reporter asked some people on the street what they thought, and they all said Santa should be chubby.  One girl said she didn’t see people leaving carrots and celery out for Santa.  That made me laugh.

The story ended with the point that Santa used to be portrayed with a pipe and they dropped that.  I think that is good, but Santa isn’t portrayed eating junk food, holding donuts, and soda pop!  Maybe Santa is just big boned.  Maybe Santa has an overactive thyroid- not everyone who is overweight eats bad!

If we start taking these things to this extreme, what IS next? Will children not be allowed to have a role model (teacher, policeman, baseball player, coach, parent, grandparent, etc.) who is overweight? 

Yes, obesity is a problem, but I think talking to your kids about a proper body image, giving them good eating habits, and making sure they exercise, will go a lot further in preventing childhood obesity than insisting Santa is thin. 

The world is made up of all kinds of different people.  Why should our kids only be exposed to thin, skinny people as role models?   What kind of message does that send them- that overweight people are not worthy of being a role model?  I think Santa teaches us that it is OK not to have a perfect body.  Santa is overweight, but guess what- no one (until now) cares.  Children  and adults still love him, and he is defined by what he does, and who he is, not what he looks like, and not by how he does or does not live up to a perceived body image.

That is my stand- keep Santa fat!  I am curious to see what everyone else thinks about this.  Please just keep the comments respectful.

Merry Christmas! 



  1. This reminds me of the whole Cookie Monster promoting obesity controversy. And the stupid thing is that S could tell at age 2 that no cookies were going IN…he loved to play “Cookie Monster” by throwing cookies everywhere.

    I so agree with you! It is really dangerous to show kids only thin role models. Kids (and, um, adults!) have a warped enough sense of body image already.

    And it’s Santa for heaven’s sake. Good topic!

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