French imagery in advertising, roundabouts and even pizza boxes is something I’ve discussed many times on this blog, but this image is the most provocative I’ve seen in a public place. Apologies for the lack of quality: I took the picture temporarily on my phone a few days ago and the poster has since disappeared.
So, here we have a poster for the Lalu nightclub in Le Grand Bornand, featuring smurfs (called ‘schtroumpfs’ in French). I remember Papa Smurf there in the red, and Lady Smurf is of course the woman next to him. The post says ‘Smurf me’ in French (they’ve made ‘smurf’ into a verb), so I guess it’s a party where people dress up as smurfs. And what is that smurf doing below that, with the scissors and the comb? Is that hay being taken away? No. Look more carefully, and if you’re pre-teen, just skip the rest of this entry: it will only add to the teenage angst that you’re destined for.
I’d say to look closely, but you don’t really need to. Can you see anything amiss in this poster? Anything slightly wrong, considering the poster was placed at the height of a kid’s eyes? That’s not hay that the smurf is carting off. It’s pubic hair. That’s not a hill with a house in the distance, it’s a breast. As you can now see, there isn’t much left up to the imagination in this poster.
Admittedly, I stared at this poster, pointed out to me by my friend, for a good minute or so without noticing anything odd. If this poster was in the nightclub itself, I wouldn’t even blink an eye; but it was placed outside the lift ticket office in Le Grand Bornand, right by the ski stand, where parents tell kids to wait with the skis, and as I mentioned, right at kid height, with all these cute, lovable smurfs on display to attracts kids’ attention. Perhaps most kids just overlook this for the love of smurfs the way I did. Still, could any other country be so open to Hairdresser Smurf giving a human an alternative Brazilian? And is that really how you make a human into a smurf? I reckon Painter Smurf with his can of blue paint would have a strong opinion about that.