It is Thursday (and actually soon will be Friday…) Yes, I am cheating again by backdating my post. But it IS Wednesday somewhere in the world, right? Oh. Who cares. It is a WTF post by me when I’ve got my WTF glasses on. (Yeah, this line is for you my Wicked Kitchen Lady…) So WTF ANYTIME… FTW!
We received a Christmas card from a high school friend of my husband’s. The address label on the envelop was one of those personalized family labels with the faces that are supposed to represent each member in the family.
Our friends are of Asian descent, and therefore the figures on the address label all have black hair, and it does remind us of them: with the appropriate hair styles. To my surprise, my husband was interested in getting a set for us.
“Maybe for next Christmas?” He emailed me with the link.
Don’t you just love how they add things to your list with a nice question like that?
Fine. I thought. It could be cute. Naturally I was already wondering how we were going to represent our multiracial family. Perhaps I could get some message out with each letter I mail. Represent! I thought. Things could get very interesting. I thought. Little did I know that it was going to be VERY INTERESTING alright.
I browsed through the site, looked at the samples, and clicked on ORDER:
They do have a wide selection for heads/hair styles. At this point, my kids became curious in this project and they were getting excited, impatiently waiting for their turn to choose their own faces.
“Oh oh oh. Choose this one!”
“No. Mom looks more like this one!”
Finally we (i.e. the kids) settled on a hair style for me.
By selecting the head style, we were then shown a variety (i.e. THREE) of different skin tones and many hair colors to choose from.
“Mom, pick the Dark Brown Hair. That looks more like you.” My oldest said.
“Mom, I am not sure what you should choose for your skin color. That one is too light, and that one is too dark.” My youngest said. He is a man of 100% honesty.
I was relieved that the instruction gave me the permission to select “Fair Skin” for myself, since I consider my complexion to be “tan”. I thought I’d go with Black Hair and Tan Skin because I did not want people to mistake me for a non-Asian person. However, my hair has not been BLACK BLACK for almost a decade: I discovered highlights many years ago and baby, let me tell you: I ain’t gonna go back. Fine. She looks too happy anyway. What I need really is a scowling face. I went with the kids’ suggestions.
Here comes the WTF moment. The first WTF moment…
(The following is a “dramatized” version of the screen I saw at the initial WTF moment. I went through the ordering process just so I could grab a screenshot to show you, my friends. You are welcome)
My jaw dropped. Add-on Features. “Asian eyes” is one of the 3 add-on features offered by the company. Along with Glasses and Santa Hat.
“What the…?!” I stopped myself short. The kids looked at me, then looked at each other.
“Mom. You should check ‘Asian Eyes’ because you are Asian.” Mr. Monk, my youngest, said. With all honesty.
“Shut up.” My oldest chastised his brother.
“Hmmm. Honey, do you know that they offer ‘Asian Eyes’ as an Add-On Feature?! Next to Santa Hat and Glasses?!” I hollered at husband.
“Mom. What do the, eh, Asian Eyes look like?” My oldest asked. Now fully invested in this new development as well.
So we searched high and low on the website, and we finally found it. Ta da!
WTF Moment Numéro deux…
“What the heck is this? Voldemort?!” I was so startled by the unreality of it I burst out laughing.
My oldest was indignant. ”That is so racist!”
“What is racist?” My youngest asked. But fortunately, immediately, “Those don’t look like your eyes. You should just use the black dots.”
I laughed even harder when I saw the labels for kids: “Have your kids feel special!”
Oh, little Jennifer is going to feel special alright… When she is shown to be some evil spirit, creepy imbecile, or wicked mastermind with no pupils.
CODA: I am not trying to read too much into this. I am sure the company does this out of good intentions. What kind of idiot would want to set out to offend paying customers, right? They are trying so hard to operate in this multi-cultural, multi-racial, complex and wonderful world that the United States of America has become. But seriously, dude? Those “Asian Eyes” are beyond creepy. They gave me nightmares. I was wondering why you stopped there? Why didn’t you include an Add-on feature for Coolie Hat? (Ok. Ok. I can’t help it!…)