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The Problem with “Big Hugs Elmo”

Sesame Street will always be near and dear to my heart. I still watch it from time to time because, let’s face it, those guys are timeless! Ever met anyone who hates it? Exactly. But now, Sesame Street, I’ve got a beef with you. So listen up and prepare for a snuffleupagus-sized rant.

Three words: Big. Hugs. Elmo.

If you’re not familiar with what moms and toy critics alike are calling THE toy of the Christmas season, I envy you. The Elmo we all know and love is a hugging machine now. The little, red fuzzy guy gives hugs, says “I love you,” and sings a happy song about why hugs are awesome. People are going nuts over this Tickle Me Elmo upgrade! The reviews I’ve read all say things like “A great way to cheer up my kindergartner after a bad day!” and “Perfect toy to keep my toddler 100% satisfied!”

Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, Woah. WOAH THERE. Woah.

Are you really that much of a failure? YOU should cheer YOUR kid up after a bad day. YOU should hug YOUR children and show her/him love.

Does anyone else see why this is messed up? Kudos to the toy industry. They’re taking advantage of all the bad parents in the world, the ones that would rather spend $50 on a toy that will provide their kid with all the love and affection they could ever need.

“No Billy, I’m not going to hug you. I have to stare at my phone for a little bit more. Go play with Elmo. I’m sure he has time to love you…”

I can see it now, a whole generation raised by Elmo. Got a problem? Need someone to talk to? Elmo will always be there with open arms to love you. Seems like a good idea, right???

“Billy, are you hugging Elmo again? You’re 38 years old.”


I agree that toys can indeed be loved, and make you feel loved. But this…. This feels too much like an excuse to ignore your kid. Elmo is a toy, not a parent. We’ve all heard the phrase “I was never hugged as a child…” used as an explanation for depression or erratic behavior. So what if a kid is only hugged by a furry red robot that winds up getting thrown over the fence next to the neighborhood baseball field and torn to pieces by the monstrous dog that lives under James Earl Jones’ house on the other side? (I really hope that joke isn’t over your head…)

What would that do to a kid? Nothing good, that’s for sure.

I’m sure it’s not ALL bad. But it baffles me….. Everybody thinks this toy is so great! Uh, guys, it’s freaky. Don’t let a toy teach your kid how to love. That’s messed up. I love toys a lot. Like a lot, a lot. But…. I just can’t. Someone please, stop the madness.

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