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‘Sexy’ Smokey Bear Balloon Makes Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Viewers Hot and Deranged

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Smokey Bear is meant to communicate an important message about wildfire safety. But viewers were talking about her balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for a totally different reason this year: her looming, brawny, unsettling heat.

As the giant floating bear floated above the streets of New York on Thursday, onlookers took to social media to ask why the iconic shirtless character was made to look unusually pumped up this year with muscle particularly bulging pectorals.

As one Twitter user wrote, “Since when is Smokey Bear Zaddy bait?” Another simply asked, “Why is Smokey Bear trying to look sexy?”

Created in 1944, Smokey Bear has since served as a public service announcement about the dangers of unplanned wildfires. With his slogan – “only you can prevent wildfires” – Smokey raised awareness of a problem that continues to destroy wildlife and infrastructure on a breathtaking scale. More than 62,000 fires have scorched more than seven million acres in the United States this year alone, according to statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center.

Behind the scenes at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

But as the need for wildfire safety has grown, so has Smokey Bear’s heat. Although originally designed to have a body similar to that of an actual bear, the character’s appearance inadvertently ditched the realism of the ursine in favor of a more lean and voluptuous look. in a 2007 redesign, according to Slate.

Even so, it seems some people are still pissed off by the sight of a ripped Smokey Bear a decade and a half later:

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