Your Family Car Sticker Could Send The Wrong MessagePosted: January 4, 2013
Odds are, more than one of you have those cartoony family stickers on the back window of your car. I’m not sure how they became the trendy thing to have, but I wish the trend would pass.
I understand that people love their sons and daughters. I love mine, but I don’t know that putting a line drawing of him on my car is the best way to express it. In fact, I think sometimes expressing parental love by way of a sticker on a car can go wrong. Let’s look at an example.
Here is a sticker that I spotted recently. A family of four: dad, mom, daughter and son. This is a fairly common configuration. The children are always ordered left to right by age and thus, size. Almost always, the father figure is to the extreme left, as in the photo. I think that means that men in sticker land are always bigger or older than their mates.
Yes, the owner of this car is so proud of their family. Well, on second thought, maybe. Let’s look closer:
Why is the girl not in color like the rest of the family? If these stickers are expressions of family love and pride, what message is little Barbara to take from this obvious difference in her portrayal? No, I don’t know her name is Barbara, I just didn’t want to keep using pronouns to represent her. This poor child has suffered enough.
I have no idea why her sticker needed to be replaced, but it obviously did. That act changed the message from family love and pride. The difference in the message is as clear as the difference between black and white.
Barbara’s parents have labeled her a non-conformist; she is the black sheep of the family. Unmanageable and wild, she makes her own way in the world. Her colorful parents can only stand by (dad on the left, as per formula) and worry about what indignity the family will suffer the next time the phone rings about Barbara.
Be careful with your family stickers. They can give mixed messages if they’re carelessly applied. Should one sticker need replacement, please replace the those representing the whole family with the same type of sticker. Don’t drive one of your children away by being cheap.
Remember the lesson of Barbara. She is out there, and she’s looking for other misfit children.