Cartoon Black History: Babar
Burundi is an African country where French and Swahili are the official languages. Though several tribes call Burundi home, it’s most notably the epicenter of battle betwixt the Hutu and Tutsi. Their war has tarnished the reputation of this majestic republic. But that’s because people always gravitate toward the negative. That will change today. This is about the king Burundi forgot.
Babar was king of the Elifantu tribe. It’s a Swahili word that roughly translates to “Pack o’ Derm(atologist)s”. They cared deeply about the way they looked. Kids aspired to be the guy in the white coat in infomercials posing as a skin care professional. When it came to royalty, it was commonplace for a family outing to a sauna or a child with a nose job.
I believe the focus on their appearance has to do with their abnormality. See, the Elifantu had a big problem… they forgot nothing. Any disparaging remarks from childhood stayed with them until death. So, to avoid tribe-wide depression and civil unrest, King Babar rallied support of the Belle Act with a rousing speech.
The act allowed everyone in the Elifantu to go to a dermatologist, cosmetologist or plastic surgeon for free. The way King Babar saw it, if ugly was not an option, then other problems can be tackled more easily. When the act passed, millions were spent on a party in the streets… The Babarty!
News of this “lovely law” spread around the world. So much so that Paul Mitchell, Joseph Lauder (husband of Estée Lauder) and Graham Wulff (inventor of Oil of Olay) met with King Babar about cross promotional opportunities.
King Babar was working to bring Burundi back to its former glory. And he was always keeping his subjects happy. With the money promised to him by the epidermis elite, Babar bought an airplane. He and his son would fly over the territory dropping bottles of Neutrogena.
To Babar, money was not an object… until it was. The numbers were not good. Unreasonable amounts of face lifts and spa trips bankrupted his kingdom before the ink could dry on any of the paperwork. The bandwagoners defected. King Babar’s court was spiraling out of control.
In order to save the Elifantu, Babar entered into a deal with the Tutsi. In exchange for complete confidentiality and money to keep the kingdom afloat, Babar would provide them with the Elifantu’s most coveted prize… ivory. Instead, the Tutsi just took the ivory and wiped out the rest of his followers. Babar was kept alive only to be humiliated. He was made an example of what happens to those that cross the Tutsi.
Oh well. Good try, old chap.