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PoliticsOctober 11, 2023

Shop the fit: Orange Guy

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In the final instalment of our campaign style series, Orange Guy vies for your vote by mopping up their sweat on a walk with pricey Pup.

Orange Guy came into being in 2009 to encourage young people to vote. Since then, clothing has been sparse, but fits have been strong. You don’t need to wear a lot when you’re orange and have no discernible genitals or other orifices. We can safely assume that Orange Guy doesn’t get cold or sunburnt. That means everything they wear is chosen not for the sake of covering up or practical purposes, but for pure style. This election season, they’ve chosen to wear just three bands of towelling.

Striped sweatband set

The towelly bands adorning Orange Guy’s head and wrists look extremely absorbent. This is good because although they’re smiling, you can tell they’re in a rush and polling booths generally don’t have showers. Body language is always more telling than whatever is going on on a person’s face, said some trash online article when I was in my formative years and trying to learn about social cues. The catch is you should look mostly at a person’s face when they’re talking to you. Perhaps sweatbands are handy not only when we’re running, but also sweating under social pressure.

In the physical realm, the colourway Orange Guy wears is not available. Instead I have found this red/yellow/blue striped set on Aliexpress. I know these cheap fast fashion giants are not great to buy from, but strangely, I could not find any higher quality stripey sweatband sets. 

Chest tattoo

Orange Guy’s sole purpose in life is to get you to vote. Their chunky feet, fingerless hands, square but still cute eyes and relentless smile are all in the service of democracy. It is painful to smile all the time no matter what the voter turnout is, but perhaps not as painful as a large and heavy chest tattoo. 

“Something like this would definitely sting as much as the amount of young voters that are not enrolled or choose not to vote,” says a spokesperson from Ōtautahi Tattoo. The price of a tattoo depends on its size and its “hard to size a cartoon”. If they are an average size, and the tattoo covered the whole chest, it would likely take a whole day and cost $1,400.

So what is it that you dedicate your life to? It could be adding up numbers (in which case maybe a picture of a calculator), dairy farming (a glass of milk), looking after your kids (a realistic rendition of their baby photos), terrorising other road users with your SUV (big tyre marks). Whatever it is, get it tattooed on your chest, nipple to nipple, and in heavy bold lines.

Pup

In 2020, a four-legged un-furry companion, Pup, appeared alongside Orange Guy. Pup was part of a branding refresh by Auckland ad agency FCB. After numerous requests from 1 News, the Electoral Commission costed Pup’s existence at $13,000. 

The Electoral Commission said he was modelled on a Jack Russell and a Dachshund, making him “inquisitive, smart and full of enthusiasm.” I’d say he was also modelled after Orange Guy. It’s best to choose a pet that looks like you. Set a 15-minute timer on your phone and stare into the mirror and try to see your soul. If you’re inquisitive but cute, Taylor is waiting to be adopted. If you have uneven skin tone and a sensitive soul, Ronnie could be your perfect companion. If you’re a petite female quail, Dart is looking for you and his adoption fee is only $20. If you can’t see a soul, get a cat.

Other notable fits

In 2022, Orange Guy donned a hat and gum boots to celebrate 25 years of MMP. The fit was a tribute to Wal of Footrot Flats, who preceded Orange Guy in a 1996 advertising campaign. Orange Guy has also been spotted in a pink helmet riding a scooter and a bike. 

In 2011, Orange guy morphed their body into a dress shape and looked absolutely cursed. Apparently it was done to celebrate Women’s Suffrage Day. It is unclear why the legs are so truncated or why the dress could not have been made of fabric rather than Orange Guy’s flesh. “I don’t know why I didn’t try one of these on AGES ago!” they said, which suggests that Orange Guy is wearing clothes all the time, they’re just the exact shape of a smooth, naked body. 

Verdict: Assuming their chest is an average size, Orange Guy’s fit would have cost $14,409.75, but you don’t have to pay this much. The SPCA’s adoption fee for a living, breathing, furry dog is $250, a fraction of Pup’s ad agency rates. By law, humans will have to add a few items to this outfit. Orange Guy, however, is a minimalist who looks and feels good in their own skin, unbound by indecency laws and untainted by advertising from the fashion, beauty and fitness industries. Lucky. 

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