As far as most people are concerned, Santa has always been a man with a round belly and a white beard. He has often been known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas, originating in Western Christmas culture. The image of Santa wearing a red coat with fur trim became popular in the US during the 19th Century. However, now people are questioning whether Santa should be gender neutral instead.

Gender. In society nowadays, people are becoming more open to the idea of being gender neutral such as with clothes for girls and boys being the same. Now, a recent survey has taken place that discusses the gender of Santa.

Santa. In the UK and the US, a survey showed that more than one in four people thought Santa should be female or gender neutral instead of the idea we have of Santa already. Given people’s recent thoughts on being gender neutral, this isn’t surprising.

Rebrand. The poll was taken by more than 4,000 people, which asked them what gender Santa would be if they could rebrand the present-giver who rides around on their sleigh with reindeer. More than one in 10 said they would opt for a female Claus.

Traditional. More than one in six of them, which is 17.15%, said they would prefer it is Santa was gender-neutral. This gave an overall percentage of 28% that would get rid of the traditional male version that we all know and love.

Fictional. The survey was conducted by GraphicSprings and shows that Santa’s gender is still a hot issue. In recent times, people often wonder whether the fictional being who travels the world with magic should be male.

Reality. Santa exists in the same reality as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Pikachu, but only he is given a specific gender. More than that, he is only seen as a white, older man with a beard. This is what people seem to have an issue with.

Parade. Arun Chandran is a Labour Party councillor for Newton Aycliffe in Country Durham, England, and wanted to ban female Santa Claus from taking part in their annual parade. His reason for why was simple to him.

Discussion. He said that the concept of Santa being a woman was ‘a form of political correctness’ and that it has been, and always will be, a male role. It was a topic that was up for discussion on the UK show Loose Women, which is shown on ITV.

Confused. One of the panellists, Linda Robson, argued, “Father Christmas is a man as we all know, and I think the kids would be confused if they got to see Father Christmas and it was a woman, so I think we should keep it as it is.”

Costume. On the other hand, Stacey Solomon said that it shouldn’t matter who was wearing the costume, as long as they looked like the Santa Claus that all kids know and love. Of course, they would have to disguise their voice.

Male. She said, “Is this female Santa wearing a beard and hat? So, what does it matter what’s underneath?” It was also discussed by Piers Morgan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, a man who is known for being anti-trans, insisting that Father Christmas is male.

Fluid. However, there are a number of companies and individuals who are saying that Santa can be anything anyone wants them to be, whether it is male or female. In fact, a New Zealand shopping centre had a gender fluid Santa Claus.

Unveiled. In Ponsonby Central they have Santa modelled on Mary Poppins wearing knickers and fishnet stockings. It had been planned since August but was unveiled the same week the country’s Leader of the Opposition, Simon Bridges, said Santa should be played by men.

Woman. He went on to say, “Mary Poppins is a woman, Santa Claus is a man. That’s how it should be. 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 than man didn’t walk on the moon, now you’re telling me Santa’s a woman.

Future. People should be able to believe in what they want, and it seems people want Santa to be seen as something other than the traditional. It will be interesting to see if more woman will start dressing as Santa in the future.