My Feelings for Smokey The Bear Are So Wrong

Come on baby light my fire.

Come on baby light my fire.

He’s just my type.  Muscles in strong, broad shoulders flex as he wields a shovel. He had to take his shirt off because all that hard work got him hotter than a four-alarm brush fire.  A bead of sweat glides down chiseled abs which are lightly dusted with hair.   OK, maybe ”lightly dusted” is an understatement since he’s a walking, talking fur coat.

When did they turn Smokey The Bear into a sex symbol?

When I was a kid, Smokey was a kindly authority figure.   His human traits made him seem like a paunchy, middle-aged, Junior-high geography teacher.   This new, furry stud-muffin is taking animal magnetism to a disturbing level.


Madison Avenue has given makeovers to a lot of familiar product mascots.   They’re going for edgy and turning up the sexy like never before to appeal to the modern buyer.


Tony_the_Tiger_1955It’s obvious that Tony the Tiger has been spending a lot of time in the gym lately. His formerly wimpy physique has been pumped up with impossibly broad shoulders above a waist so tiny it would put Scarlett O’Hara to shame.  I’ve heard rumors of steroid abuse.



Mr. Clean has always been the strong-man-at-the-circus type. But his new computer-animated persona matches that prison-yard body with a jovial, old-grandpa-with-n0-wrinkles face in a manner best described as really creepy.



Even the Scrubbing Bubbles have gotten into the act. Formerly asexual, one of the bubbles is now clearly female. Her long lashes do nothing to hide the come-scrub-me look in her knowing eyes.


The Honey Nut Cheerios bee has taken up break dancing, Betty Crocker has had her lips plumped and Cap’n Crunch is drug running for a Colombian cartel.



It’s hard to know how far this trend will go, but I don’t think it will end well. Just today it was announced that beloved cartoon characters Chip and Dale are in negotiations to be spokesmunks for a new line of “adult” potato chips.


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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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76 Responses to My Feelings for Smokey The Bear Are So Wrong

  1. Donald Duck doesn’t wear pants. Might he be next?

  2. Al says:

    I’ve often wondered what the female equivalent to the male mid-life crisis was like. Thanks for answering that.

  3. Please tell me that Smokey the bear image was a result of your mad photoshop skillz!
    And thank you for making me spew my coffee at the line about Cap’n Crunch being a drug runner.

    • pegoleg says:

      No, that’s straight from the Smokey ad campaign. I’m having nothing but trouble with Photoshop, dang nab it! Your Mad Skillz crown is very safe.

  4. societycommentator says:

    Life was so much simpler when we were kids. My sister & I decided what cereal we wanted by the flavor, not by how sexy or hip their mascot was.

  5. I blame Joe Camel – such a d***head!

  6. momshieb says:

    I never trusted those chipmunks……

  7. lisaspiral says:

    ooooo now that you’ve identified why these things are creepy it’s even creepier.

  8. JED says:

    Mr. Peanut is a motivational speaker now. Harness the power of the peanut! just sounds dirty.

  9. I’m so glad someone else noticed that about Mr. Clean.

    And I’m with Darla on the Cap’n Crunch line; the “come-scrub-me look” gave me a giggle, too, although I’m pretty sure it was a scrubbing bubble that took me out. From now on, when it comes to bathroom cleaning at Villa Cahier, no scrubs.

  10. susielindau says:

    I think I saw those “chips” in Las Vegas. Funny post.

    • pegoleg says:

      Did you see them in nothing but their fur coats?

      I’m surprised you have the strength to read anything with all the comment ballyhoo going on at your blog. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed, Susie – so well deserved.

  11. Carrie Rubin says:

    Ha! Loved this post! Nothing like sexualizing some scrubbing bubbles. As if the fashion models weren’t enough; now I have to compete with bubbles. My eyelashes will never be that gorgeous…

  12. Elyse says:

    Personally, I don’t understand why any of those bubbles is male.

  13. Good for Smokey for hitting the gym. Who says that lady bears don’t like washboard abs and cut pectorals too?

    • pegoleg says:

      I have it on good authority that lady bears are only concerned with whether or not their fellas have bits of toilet paper clinging to their fur.

  14. Roxie says:

    So, is the Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle going to have double Ds, now?

  15. As long as they leave “Snap, Krackle and Pop” alone!

  16. There isn’t enough sexualizing in movies and TV – let’s continue the slide down to the lowest common denominator. The sexy bubbles are most disturbing. Probably some ad exec’s fantasy … sexy bubbles washing the bod. Shivers.

    • pegoleg says:

      You’re probably right about the ad exec. I find the Mr. Clean guy most disturbing – something about the commercials; he seems so real/surreal. Shudders.

  17. It’s not just the images…check out the text “Unwrapping””, How’d that happen?
    I think Mr. Clean is the creepiest.

    • pegoleg says:

      Interesting commercial. Notice that Snap, Crackle and Pop are now drawn as 3 dimensional? I didn’t used to think so, but this new Mr. Clean incarnation creeps me right out. I turn the channel whenever he comes on.

  18. aaforringer says:

    Thanks I needed the laugh.

  19. ponymartini says:

    Oh, sweet sexiness! It’s everywhere, and I never realized! Next thing you know the Brawny man will be… Dear God. Him too! Thank you for this great unveiling. I am indebted to you.

  20. James Bear says:

    Yeah, you gotta watch out for us bears — we’ll sneak up on you…

  21. You’re right, the characters are being sexied up aren’t they! It’s not a new thing to have sexy characters though is it, think of Betty Boop! And Penelope Pitstop, which if you think about it (and I hadn’t before until just now) has an extremely suggestive second name! Sexiness in ads is probably a newer phenom.. phinomino…fenominom…thing though, which I guess what your point!

  22. Thank you. I’m glad that I am not the only one who finds the new Mr. Clean a bit creepy.
    Smokey the Bear IS hot! But, it’s his smokin’ eyes that get me. Someone get me hose!

  23. Let’s not forget the M&M’s in our lives that now also have two sexes and undress in their ads. I enjoyed your vintage versus current media blog entry. Thanks!

  24. I think I am going to be a little sick, this is a truly disturbing trend Peg.

  25. Sandy Sue says:

    Ooo, that Mr. Clean thing is definitely icky. Sorta like a circus clown with bleach. NOT who I’d bat my come-scrub-me lashes at.

  26. This is definitely a post about the influence and changes to cultural media. A class I used to teach. The continued sexualization of all images is disturbing. And no one notices as it happens little by little.
    Historically, it reminds me of another instance of people be enured to atrocities taking place in their back yard.
    Sorry so heavy. Must be the air ( “Back To The Future,” remember?)

  27. Who is that bare and what have they done with Smokey – he’s not so old he must retire…maybe hibernate a bit longer, but….!
    I hate the hip hop honey bee. Hate it.
    Just leave me with my warm childhood product memories!

  28. dorannrule says:

    LOL! I will never look at a cartoon figure the same way again! :)

  29. And they say only women are being objectified in the media. Now animals, too!

  30. lexiemom says:

    Well, sexy cartoons aren’t really new, are they? Think about Jessica Rabbit from the 80’s!
    But it really wasn’t her fault. As she said, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”

    Maybe you should give Smokey Bear and Mr. Clean a break. After all, they’re just drawn that way. (Well, technically, they’re computer generated that way…)

  31. raulconde001 says:

    Very good article! :)

  32. Aldog20171 says:

    Funny, albeit slightly disturbing. For another funny blog, try

  33. You know, I never really thought about it that way, but upon further focus, you’re right. They’ve really ‘amped’ up the sexy on vintage ad characters. But then again, isn’t everything on TV some how alluding to sex or sexiness. It’s that way on the national news, most shows, toys……Hmmmm….Interesting perspective. Thanks!

  34. I object to the objectification of men as a cartoon sex symbol. How can we expect women to respect completely made up strangers on television when all they can focus on is rippling furry abs? You should have to get to know that tiger/bear/bald buff dude before you’re allowed imagine them in compromising degrading positions whilst using the detachable shower head. That or tv should only be allowed to show “real” men, you know fat offish looking middle-aged lazy bastards who haven’t done a situp in a decade and can only find their penis with a mirror. That’s a real man, not the bullshit matriarchal portrayal these cartoons want you to think is a man. Just to prove how wrong this is I’m going to stop shaving my balls and start wearing heels everywhere. That’ll show ‘em.

    • pegoleg says:

      If TV showed “real” people, even on reality shows, nobody would want to watch. We can see that shiz in the mirror!

      And I’m sure you’ll look great in those stilettos.

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