What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Santa Claus?
Most of us will automatically picture a big bellied-guy in a red and white suit with glasses, chubby cheeks, a large white bushy beard, and surrounded by reindeer.
No matter where you're from or what name he's called, everyone can instantly recognize the most famous guy from the North Pole.
The fictionalized version of jolly ol' Saint Nick has been been around for hundreds of years, stemming from the legends of a wealthy Bishop named Saint Nicholas, who was known for his kindness and piety. He would supposedly wear a red robe and travel to give gifts to the poor.
But lately, there are some people who feel that it is time we move away from this representation of Santa and towards one that doesn't reinforce gender stereotypes.
With recent breakthroughs in the way our society approaches gender and identity, including the concept of gender fluidity being more acceptable and recognized, some people feel that Santa should be more representative of this progress.
A logo design company sent out a survey asking people what changes they would like to see if Santa's image was to be revamped, and the results they received were not quite what they were expecting.
Although 72 percent of the people, both in the United States and U.K., who voted on the Graphic Springs Santa re-branding suggestions say Santa should be a man, 27 percent think Santa should be gender-neutral or a woman, 11 percent only want a female Santa, while 17 percent definitely think Santa should definitely be non-binary.
While this may come as a surprise to some people, it wouldn't be the first time that the idea of a gender-neutral Mr. Claus has been floated around.
In 2016, Chris Moss wrote a column for The Telegraph UK in which he argued that "Father Christmas is an oppressive male stereotype."
"The personification of Christmas is aggressively, oppressively narrow, leaving no room for the poor, the depressed, the family-less, the friendless, the dad-hater, the trans-sexual, women – I could go on," he wrote. "In gender terms, the leaving of gifts for the mysterious male visitor (read: mother is having an affair) and the phallic nature of chimneys leave little to the imagination."
While there are plenty of people on social media who echoed Moss' sentiments, it seems like most don't see a need for Santa to be changed, and they had very strong opinions and feelings about it.
Based on THE MALE St. Nicholas....why the hell would we change the gender? This is getting wild— MrSmash2U (@NostalgiaBomb44) December 13, 2018
I think we are going a little bit too far. cmon, everything isnt an attack on something. these who harp on this stuff are people who want to live in a sterilized world with no character, no life, no warmth. they just want a generic world, where everyone is happy. that cant happen— Vinny Mastrantonio (@nottherealvinny) December 13, 2018
If you think Santa should be gender neutral, you should be slapped in the face, tarred, & feathered. GTFO #santaisaman— Amy Phillips (@AmyRenee22) December 12, 2018
I’m sorry, but if you are one of those demanding a gender neutral Santa, maybe take a look and realize you’re an asshole. Santa Nicola, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle whatever the hell you call him was a dude and there’s a MRS. CLAUS— Cardi D (@Dlucianoo) December 14, 2018
Leave Santa Claus alone. He's fine just the way he is. Nothing's sacred any more.— james f (@jamesf63296263) December 13, 2018
As for the remaining suggestions about what Santa should look like if he were to be given a makeover, 22 percent say he should have a flying car instead of a reindeer-pulled sleigh.
About 25 percent say they'd rather see Santa in sneakers instead of boots, 21% think Santa should go on a diet, 20 percent wouldn't mind Kris Kringle with tattoos, and 18 percent want him to get a new hairstyle and wear skinny jeans.
It sounds like those who were involved in this survey really want a millennial Santa with hipster style.