I Liked Her Better Before

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | December 7, 2009 12:10 am

The Sun Maid Raisin Girl’s makeover looks modeled after a Second Life Barbie doll. What do readers think?

Picture 6

MORE ABOUT: raisins, Sun-Maid

Comments (27)

  1. Pete

    Eeek! Me too. That’s creepy. Until now, she was modeled after a real person. Too bad.

  2. Chris TMC

    Any particular reason they changed her ethnicity?
    I dont care or mind, I am just curious.

  3. MutantJedi

    The problem is common with 3D renderings… Uncanny valley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

    Chris, I’m not seeing what you seem to be seeing… the 3D rendering is just tanned more…

  4. MadScientist

    So long as the raisins look and taste the same (or better), I wouldn’t care unless they put the image of Sarah Palin on the box – now that’d have me running the other way and screaming.

  5. Cory

    Why would you do that oh the humanity.

  6. Paul W.

    Seriously Uncanny Valley, MutantJedi.

    And I agree ont the not seeing the ethnicity thing. I think they just left her out in the sun for a while. (Which is maybe OK for a “Sun Maid”—kind of weird that the old one was pasty—though I’m not a fan of tan. I find dark white wimmen kinda creepy, and dark dark women just… um… peachy..)

  7. Paul W.

    (BTW the inconsistency in wimmen/women was a typo, not meant to be correlated with white/dark at all.)

  8. Plastic and awkward and fake, oh my! If you’re trying for a more realistic approach, why not just get a model to pose in a real field with some grapes and take a photo? That would be far better than this. But the real question here, from a scientific point of view, is what kind of antigravity field are they using to support those clearly weightless grapes?

  9. Barry

    Forget about the changes to the Raisin Girl’s bust line – how could you possibly miss the shape of that hanging bunch of grapes she’s holding up?

  10. I think they’re just 2 different styles of the same idea. The image on the left is cartoony too, just in the 1950’s Walt Disney style. And I don’t think the new version comes close to falling into uncanny valley territory.

    You probably like the one on the left because it’s the way you think it’s supposed to be – the way it’s been your whole life. Try asking the same question to small children who haven’t developed a preference yet.

  11. inde

    The old image was more wholesome. Let’s just hope it never rains in Sun-Maid Valley. What kind of harvester wears a skin tight lycra white shirt?

  12. Anthony McCarthy

    I suspect the artist hasn’t ever done farm work. A sun bonnet with that shirt, makes no sense.

    The ravages of computer design at work? She looks like a creepy computer animation now.

  13. Gus Snarp

    I think it’s pretty weak. What I really wonder is how much they spent on the update. Probably millions on market research and new designs from marketing, before paying some intern eight bucks to crank out the actual logo. Meanwhile, they pretty much own the raisin market, do they think the new logo will make more people like raisins? What do they expect to gain from this?

    The new Mickey Mouse is worse though.

  14. OMG that is awful. Talk about silicon chest. Bring back the old one!

  15. The new one looks a lot like Sheril ……

  16. The version on the right has been in commercials for a while (and she’s even odder when moving), so I’m a bit puzzled as to why people are just finding out about this.

  17. The new one looks a lot like Sheril ……

    Oh dear, I certainly hope not. The mere suggestion makes me consider changing my profile photo.

  18. TB

    Looks like she’s ready for guest appearances in third-rate, straight-to-video 3D cartoons.

  19. Blogger

    Aside from the plastic look, she looks more grown up, more adult. It’s like the mom is on the right and the daughter is on the left.

    …and yes, she could definitely be a (close) relative to Sheril.

  20. Paul W.

    she could definitely be a (close) relative to Sheril.

    Yes, but in a creepy odd picture, like a second life avatar (as she said).

    It’d be a decent picture of Sheril as a avatar, but it’s a horrible fakey portrait IMHO.

    Hm… has anybody ever seen Sheril and the Sun Maid in the same room at the same time? It’s all starting to fit together with the AGW hoa

  21. Paul W.

    A sun bonnet with that shirt, makes no sense.

    That’s one of the things that makes it look so much like an avatar. Most systems don’t let you have an avatar with drapey clothing, because it’s too compute-intensive to simulate and render. So you get simplified moving body-with-clothing-on shapes, and mostly digitally painted-on (“texture mapped”) clothing.

    I’ll wager that some geeks out there have noticed this, an is constructing a very good Sun Maid avatar already.

    BTW, here’s a history of the Sun Maid. The original was a photo.


    And if you thought this one was creepy, check out the 1923 version.

  22. Is this their way of announcing that they have switched to genetically modified grapes?

  23. a fresh new healthy attitude with a buff figure can’t be a bad thing … how about yoga??

  24. Brian Too

    Yeesh, it’s a picture on a box of raisins. A drawn, advertising-type picture! They could put a horse on there or a unicycle or a tire iron. On my list of 100 top concerns this rates at 101. If that.

  25. Tim

    The new one is so much worse. Almost all computer renderings have that cheap and ugly look.

  26. Paul W.

    Brian Too,

    I thought it was a timely post. With all the stupid crap about “ClimateGate” going on, we can use a little comic relief.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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