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Who Should You Give a Penguin Mug To?
The penguin, as a cultural icon and symbol, actually straddles two totally different worlds. It's very easy to see the positive side of a penguin. After all, penguins are small and cute. It also has a funny, awkward walk.
Many penguin species are also very loud. If you are looking to poke fun or possibly highlight the appearance and sound of somebody who is on the round side, who walks with a waddle, and is kind of slow walking and is quite loud, the penguin image comes to mind. It's both comedic and iconic at the same time.
You have to be very careful who you give penguin-themed gifts to because penguins can easily be misinterpreted. Let's face it, in western cultures, being on the heavy side is not exactly seen as a virtue. This isn't always the case. I mean, you only need to look at the art of Peter Paul Rubens of the 1600's to figure this out.
Back in the day, very big or voluptuous women were considered the primary love symbols of their day. A lot of these women would be quickly dismissed as fat today, but back then, they were the epitome of love appeal.
It's easy to see why. Back then, most people worked hard physically. If you wanted to eat and you were not born into nobility or royalty, you had to get out in the fields and work from sun up to sun down. Most people did not get fat because most people had a tough time eating enough calories to keep body and soul together. To say that people were trim and athletic back then would be to put it mildly.
Well, the opposite reality was true of the nobility and royalty. Why do you think the phrase "blue blood" became so big? Blue blood refers to the very, very white skin of the upper class who have never ventured out into the sun to do a hard day of manual work. That was beneath them. That was off limits to them.
Not surprisingly, a lot of them developed cardiovascular thickening and blue blood or thickened capillaries is one of those symptoms. This is why several hundred years ago, somebody who was overweight was considered attractive because very few people had that luxury.
Now, the perception has completely flipped. Now, if you have a few extra pounds around your midsection or you're carrying around a spare tire, you're considered on the less attractive side, to put it politely.
This is why you really have to be very careful when giving a penguin mug. You have to look at its design. You have to look at the connotation as well as the signals that it's sending out.
If you want to give a penguin mug to somebody that you really know or you share a lot of inside jokes with regarding weight or appearances, then this is probably going to be a safe gift. If anything, it's going to further cement your relationship. When you give this gift to that special person, you basically let that person know, "Hey, I know about your insecurities and you know about mine, and this gift basically cements our bond together. We get each other and we can afford to make fun of each other."
Instead of being offended, the person would actually treasure your penguin mug because it says to them, in no uncertain terms, that you accept the complete person. You accept them for what they are, faults and all. Regardless of whether they have a few extra pounds or not, they mean a lot to you, and vice versa. Outside of that situation, however, you need to be careful.
Make sure that you pay close attention to the following types of people because they are probably the ones who would want to receive a penguin mug. They're probably the ones who wouldn't be offended in the slightest bit if you were to give them a mug with the image of a penguin on it.
Someone Who Likes Penguins
A no-brainer candidate for a penguin mug is somebody who loves penguins. Now, how do you know this? Well, they could have told you directly, they could have been explicit about it, they can also imply it. You can see in their computer desktop wallpaper or their mobile phone wallpaper or cover. You can also tell from the avatars or icons they use on social media. There are many small hints and signals people give out to the rest of the world regarding their preferences.
Some people like unicorns, other people like dragons, and yes, a lot of people like penguins. People who have a preference for penguins probably would not mind a penguin mug. In fact, they might like you even better because you let them know that you're paying attention to the little hints and signals that they are sending regarding their personal preferences and favorite animals.
Someone with a Sense of Humor
Now, if you give a mug with a penguin image to somebody with a sense of humor, they don't necessarily have to like penguins. In fact, they can hate penguins and they would still love your gift. Why? They have a sense of humor. They're quirky, they look at the world in terms of weird combinations and weird juxtapositions.
These are the types of people that can appreciate a mug that has the image of a penguin. It won't be offensive to them, it won't be some sort of personal slight. Instead, they look at it as part of yet another absurdity of life. You would get a nice laugh out of them.
Someone You Have a Crush On
Now, for this group of people, you're going to have to walk on thin ice. You really do. You have to make sure that all the other signals that you're getting are right on point. You can't assume too much.
You can't think that this person looks like a penguin, talks like a penguin, sounds like it, so let me give them a penguin mug. You might want to hold off on that. You might want to dial down the enthusiasm. Why? If you have a crush on them, it's obvious that their feelings are going to matter to you because if you end up offending that at some level or another, you probably won't have much of a chance going out on a date with them or even hanging out with them.
So focus on their sense of humor. Focus on whether they have penguin merchandise already. If any of this is true, then go ahead with your plan. However, if you notice that this person, in no way, shape or form, is a fan of penguins or might even hate them, then you probably want to hold off.
The reason why I suggest giving a penguin coffee mug to somebody you have a crush on is because it communicates to the person that you totally get them. That you have gone out of your way to try to understand them and get beneath and behind their interests.
In other words, you're not just some random admirer from a mass of people or another face in the crowd who likes them. Instead, you're this person who actually wants to know them so much and are so interested in them that you actually examine them as a person with a specific set of interests. Whatever they're interested in, you're interested in. And believe me, this sends a very positive signal if you play it right.
Someone Who Has an Irrepressible Spirit
Finally, if you are looking for a great gift for somebody who just has an amazing sense of humor and seems to be a force of nature in their own right, give them a penguin mug. At the very least, they won't be offended. At the very best, they would think that you get what they are all about.
Keep these tips in mind if you want to figure out who the best people are to give a mug with a picture of a penguin on it. It really requires quite a bit of attention to detail.