I am seriously disturbed.
We stopped by McDonald's for some carbohydrates wrapped round grease this morning, namely two cheeseburger Happy Meals. And as we all know, Happy Meals come with toys. This month it's the Mr Men and Little Miss series, which are celebrating their 30th anniversary.
Inevitably, there is a gimmick. In this case, each vividly coloured 4 inch felt Mr Man (one per Happy Meal) turns inside out, via a slit up the back, into an equally gaudy Little Miss character. The colours inevitably clash, though the characters mesh well. Bright blue Mr Forgetful turns inside out to become ochre Little Miss Late; puke-orange Mr Silly evaginates (word choice deliberate...read on) to reveal Little Miss orange Fickle.
I am impressed; I had not expected McDonald's to tackle transsexual issues so directly with an audience so young. The message is unmistakable: inside every Mr Man is a Little Miss waiting to come out (and vice versa). It must be a tremendous reassurance to all those six-year old girls trapped in a little boy's body (and vice versa). I am proud of the fast-food industry for this courageous affirmation.
It's the method of changing from your outer Mr Man to your true Little Miss self (or vice versa) that has me worried. You see, the slit up the back of our colourful role model has a distinctly...anatomical appearance. In short, it looks like a pair of labia majora. Your inner Little Miss emerges from your outer Mr Man (or vice versa) through a felty vulva. You are reborn.
I would not want to try to explain this imagery to a child.