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Celebrate The Virgin Of Guadalupe With Virgencita Plis

Today is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patroness and most popular icon. Millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the sanctuary of the Virgin today to pay their respects. The image of Guadalupe is omnipresent in Mexico and its satellite communities in the United States. She’s on T-shirts, posters, and is spray painted on the beds of pick-up trucks all over the place. But her latest manifestation is in the form of a cartoon called Virgencita Plis. Amparo Serrano owns Distroller, a Mexican company that created the cute and cuddly version of the virgin. The “plis” in her name is a take on how your mom probably pronounces the word please. And it’s just the beginning for this animated Virgin.

The company has penned a deal with Cartoon Network to do a Virgencita Plis TV show. I suppose she will be going on all kinds of wacky supernatural adventures. I hope she and a cartoon Juan Diego will go around solving crimes like in Scooby Doo! Either way, Virgencita Pils is becoming a sort of Mexican version of Hello Kitty. The company signed a licensing contract with Converse to create Virgencita Pils sneakers and Wal Mart will carry her dolls in their stores. She even has an online store and a Facebook page. Some might question commercializing the mother of Jesus and Mexico’s beloved patroness in this way. After all, aren’t you diminishing her majesty by making her a goofy little cartoon? The truth is that as far as the Virgin becoming a commodity, she has been that for a long time.

Like I said, you can get anything with the Virgin of Guadalupe’s image on it. Much like Che Guevara, who as a Marxist presumably would not have approved of his image’s commercialization, the Virgin of Guadalupe has become a commodity. We all worship at the altar of the mass market but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Virgin is in any way being disrespected. Not as Virgencita Plis, anyway. If anything she can perhaps act as a good example to our kids. The main point of the line is for kids to give thanks for what they have and ask for the Virgin’s help. That’s not so bad, right? I know I would rather my daughter play with a cute little Virgincita than a slutty Bratz doll.

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