As readers of my blog know, I’ve been a Bernie fan for a long, long time, although I did not get caught up this time around with the Bernie Mittens Memes. (I was, to be fair, caught up with Bernie’s bird back in 2016.) Bernie would be my #1 choice to have as an uncle: cantankerous, authentic, and actually admirable. Probably a little exasperating in person.
It’s a sweet story with the mittens. Jen Ellis, a second-grade teacher, gifted the mittens to Bernie back in 2016, when she was making presents for her daughter’s teachers. Bernie’s daughter-in-law owned the preschool, which was the way that Ellis could connect to Bernie and deliver a pair to the senator himself.
As noted in a story on NPR, while a number of performers and spouses dazzled in their high-fashion outfits, many viewers seemed to appreciate Bernie’s sensible Vermont-ready outerwear.
I came across another story in Psychology Today which opined on why Bernie’s mittens had become such a wildly popular meme. Their explanation was:
Authenticity is hard to come by: real is rare and beautiful. Whether you agree with the Senator’s policies or not, he does not put on airs . . . In a world full of fabrication, curated images, and false pretenses, it is refreshing to see [someone] embody humility.Kristen Lee Ed.D., LICSW in Psychology Today
I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s as good an explanation as any other.