A family that stickers together, sticks together
There’s a growing trend in rear window art. It’s the biggest thing since Baby on Board signs. Only these are telling you not just about the baby but every other member of the family - including the cat and dog.
They’re called My Family stickers and they need to come with a warning: “May Cause Road Rage”. Or “Will Incite Anger”. Because people are going nuts about these little white labels.
For every person proudly adding the adhesive version of their dog, cat or sibling to their back windscreen, there’s another one angrily waving their fist in objection. Or joining the Facebook hate page. Yep, those tiny stickers have divided the nation.
The fans say the stickers are cute and sentimental, a way to express pride in their family. As a friend of mine said on Facebook:
“When you’re proud of your team, you wear a jersey… Right? What’s the diff? Except your family is your team for life!”
Haters aren’t so charitable. They think the stickers are smug, nauseating and braggy.
“People couldn’t care less how many kids, dogs and sisters the woman driving the 4WD in front of you has,” said Perth man Dean Templeman on Perth Now.
The 7cm x 7cm stickers sell for $4 each. And they’re the classic example of the old saying: any publicity is good publicity.
So here’s some slightly subversive publicity for you - we got tip top Adelaide artist Steve Grice to mock us up a couple. Seeing as bogans were the flavour of the week on the site with this piece about Boganomics, we got Steve to make us a bogan family:
Then we remembered that Halloween is looming, but rather than give you a pumpkin recipe or earnest warning about accepting lollies from strangers, we give you this:
Monica Liebnow and Phil Barham, the Queensland couple behind the concept, are lapping it up. They’ve sold two million of the original stickers since the business kicked off two years ago.
They’ve also quit their jobs and saved enough for a deposit on a house of their own - big enough for their four kids and one dog. But you’d know this already if you’d seen their car.
Liebnow says they’re proud of their “wholesome” product and dismisses the haters for not revelling in “a bit of fun.”
Guess that depends on your definition of fun, though. Because the My Family haters aren’t lacking a sense of humour themselves.
They’ve created sites like The Alternative Stick Figure Stickers, with hilarious caricature which is often bawdy and offensive. You know, the cool, gross stuff. Like Creepy Uncle and the Mistress, the Grape Smuggler and Alcoholic Mum.
Bumper stickers have always been polarising. A while back The Punch editor Tory Shepherd devoted an entire column to some of the most over-used bumper stickers. She argued that they grate because the slogan is usually at odds with the “look” of the person driving the car.
This is true of empty slogans about peace and Christianity when the driver refuses to let you in. Or vegansim when the person behind the wheel is also chowing down on a beef burger. But if it’s just stick figure replicas of a persons family, what’s all the fuss about?
Is it because we think it’s pathetic that someone could love their family enough to buy a sticker and strap it to the back of their car? Are we afraid of how vulnerable this makes us? Especially given our obsession with privacy these days.
Or is it just the bad manners and bad attitude that goes hand in hand with road rage? When we’re tired, grumpy and stressed out. Sitting in a line of traffic at the end of a long day, in the kind of mood that makes it easy to be annoyed by a bad drawing of a dog. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.
So do you love them or loathe them? Or wanna send in your own? If we get some good entries we’ll post them on the website next week. Email a jpeg with the subject line My Family to email@example.com.
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