Nov 29, 2011

Chia Obama

I've been on a roller coaster ride of emotions in the last two days. When I saw a Chia Obama advertisement on the tv yesterday, I first  thought I had somehow switched to a Saturday Night Live skit, then, after realizing this was for real, I thought Chia Obama was one of the most racist things to come down the pike in ages. Evidently I don't watch the right tv channels and I entirely missed Chia Obama's earlier introduction into the marketplace and its subsequent 2009 recall from Walgreens' and RiteAid stores nationwide.  Now Chia Obama is baaaack.

You all know the Chia empire, right?  The most famous is the cute little sheep that grows green sprouts in place of wool, but the product line also includes a Chia Homer Simpson, Chia Shrek, Chia Spongebob Squarepants, and many other little ceramic animals and characters onto which you spread the contents of the seed packet and wait for the fun to begin.

A Chia Obama just didn't seem to fit alongside Chia Homer Simpson (although it's simply called Chia Homer so I guess we could have hoped it was that Homer).  However, Chia Obama is part of a patriotic packaging quartet;  Washington, Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty are the other elements.  (Can I use the word 'elements' when discussing Chia products?)

So, is parent company Joseph Enterprises' Obama innocuous or racist?  No Chia Bush or Clinton was ever produced.  There was never a Daddy Bush sprout grower.  Why create a presidential Chia now, in the term of the first African American president ever?  And if this is intended to be a racist product, is there a demographic that wants both the Chia of Lincoln, the president credited with freeing the slaves, and a racist depiction of Obama, the first African American to run the country?

I think the most worrisome aspect of the Chai Obama is that it doesn't look like Obama at all.  It looks like some white guy's idea of 'generic black guy.' Lincoln is a pretty good likeness and Washington is shaped so his green hair forms the shape of the wig in all those paintings.  The Obama design, however, seems to have been produced by the B team.  Lady Liberty's not so hot, either.  I can't believe I'm discussing the quality of the design of a Chia!

I say, if African Americans are going to be thrown into the dubious honor of being made into these late night, $19.95, cheapo, wacko, products, I nominate Don King.  Now that's a guy whose hair just begs to be parodied in a Chia. The white team could be more spot-on as well.  How about a Cosmo Kramer Chia or a Mayor Perk, the former Cleveland mayor who caught his hair on fire?  Maybe Joseph Enterprises could develop a red sprout that grows in the center of his head to create a bigger and bigger flame. Or Chia could ride The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo's popularity wave and do a mohawk Chia a la Lisbeth Salander. Marie Antoinette Chia, anyone?  I just wish they'd leave our current president out of the lineup.


  1. Photo please, or link?? I guess I could google it myself, but I like blog posts with pictures. Just a little kid about that, hun?

  2. I'm working on becoming more technologically adept, Jennifer. In good time, all in good time. Thanks for reading!

  3. I had no idea chia worked so well....I am going to come out with a porno chia line..........just think of the possibilities!

  4. One reader suggested a Chia Phyllis Diller. Very appropriate. Her Chia would of course have a little unlit cigarette in a long holder, not actually smoking because Phyllis Diller never smoked her cigarette, she just held it for effect.