A shopping center in Auckland, New Zealand put their own twist on Santa Claus with a “gender-busting” statue.
Ponsonby Central introduced “Santa Poppins,” Santa dressed as Mary Poppins, for the holiday season. Santa dons a red robe and fishnet stockings and is holding Poppins’ magical carpet bag and umbrella.
A Ponsonby Central spokesperson told Newshub that the statue is in response to Leader of the New Zealand National Party and Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges’ comments on “The AM Show” on Monday. Bridges said he thought only men should portray Santa.
“I think it’s just PC gone – I don’t know if it’s mad, but too far. You guys this morning are telling me that man didn’t walk on the moon, now you’re telling me Santa’s a woman – I just want a few things I can believe in,” Bridges said.
He continued that “just as Mary Poppins is a woman, Santa Claus is a man.”
Ponsonby Central decided to send a message with their statue.
“The team at Ponsonby Central and Blunt umbrellas believe that our representation of Santa can be Mary Poppins or whatever race/gender/persuasion we prefer and can imagine,” the spokesperson said in a statement.”The Coca-Cola Company doesn’t have a monopoly on what he/she looks like.”
The spokesperson continued that they hope Santa Poppins will bring “a fresh perspective on the gender diversity conversation.”