The study, in fact, is a silly, light-hearted survey conducted by a graphics company, which also asks such questions as to whether Santa should use an iPhone, Amazon Prime, or drive a limousine. The survey, needless to say, is non-binding, and will not result in any changes to traditional Santa iconography. And even then, the survey shows that the vast majority of respondents, in just about every case, want Santa to stay the way he is. Only 10.6 percent of respondents, for instance, want a female Santa and only 17.2 percent wish for a gender-neutral Saint Nick.
The survey, as aggregated by news sites all over the world, was produced not by a traditional polling outfit but rather by a graphics company called Graphic Springs. The purpose of the survey, it would appear, is to showcase the company’s graphic abilities – as shown in a funny picture of a skinnier, tattooed Santa – but the reaction has been to suggest that traditional iconography is in some sort of jeopardy.
“We all imagine Santa as the bearded old man in his iconic white and red suit, black belt, matching boots and reindeer drawn sleigh,” the company’s blog post says. “But what if Father Christmas was rebranded for today? We asked people how they would modernise Santa. Based on the results, we’ve updated Santa’s winter wardrobe and transformed his transportation. In it, he ditches his iconic suit and adopts some skinny jeans, trainers, and a hover-board to name just a few.”
Survey: 27 percent of people would ‘rebrand’ Santa as gender other than male https://t.co/WfzYT29A52
— News12NJ (@News12NJ) December 13, 2018
But if anything, the survey shows that the vast majority of respondents don’t want changes to Santa, and that’s not only when it comes to gender. Respondents are asked if Santa should have an iPhone, a hoverboard, dreadlocks, jewelry, and glow-in-the-dark fur, and for just about every question, more than 90 percent of those asked say “no.” The same is true for whether Santa should drink beer, look younger, or have tattoos. The highest “yes” percentage in the whole survey is that Santa should use Amazon Prime, and that’s only 15.1 percent. Also, 14.7 percent say Santa should “use a flying car,” although in a sense he already does.
Once again: This set of facts has been marshaled, in dozens of headlines, to imply that “they” want to change Santa Claus, and that the traditional representation of Santa is somehow under attack. Such as in this YouTube video by “Ticked-Off Vic” yelling in his car about gender-neutral Santa.
And finally, even if the majority of this graphics company’s survey had demanded wholesale changes to Santa, there’s no “they” which would ever have the power to force such changes.