CASE 017: Shookfiled December 20, 2019
As queers across the country dry clean their green velvet blazers and polish their most tasteful adornments, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘐𝘯𝘘𝘶𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘺 finds it an appropriate time to release the results of a formal investigaytion into the season’s queerest objet d’art: The snow globe.
After a three-year international survey, visiting literal closets in hundreds of gay homes, the queer artifacts division can confirm that, beyond framed autographs of Julie Andrews and The L Word DVD box sets, the snow globe is the essential item on any queer mantlepiece. The results of the vast study enumerate the many ways a standard snow globe can represent queer idyllic fantasy; an environment untouched by the cruel world. Historically, gays love little worlds. From the interior scenes of Fabergé eggs to ceramic light-up holiday villages to ten gallon fish tanks, the snow globe is no exception.
“I have a tendency to wander into gift shops and just stare into them,” said Camille Marchand of Nantes, France. “Sometimes I’ll look up and realize I’ve spent the past hour projecting myself into a miniaturization of Marie Antoinette’s Hameau de la Reine. It’s as if I can see how things could be.”
Other points of gay fascination are snow globes’ vaguely European origins and the hypnotizing motion of swirling particles, while physical features like miniatures and the occasional music box element heavily into the allure.
There was also a high factor of snow globe representation in gay pop culture.
“Taylor Swift uses snow globes as ciphers for her queerness. I think it’s a signifier for love for Karlie Kloss,” said Rennie Winsor, a Kaylor truther and frequent commenter on the Taylor Swift symbolism subreddit.“ They appear often in her lyrics—and don’t get me started on the Lover video!” Set inside a snow globe, the video unfolds within a dollhouse, with rooms in every color of the rainbow.
Some queers also reported purchasing snow globes as a safety measure. “I started collecting [snow globes] after I saw that scene in 𝘜𝘯𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘧𝘶𝘭 when Richard Gere bludgeons his lover with one,” said Martin Walker, a Lyft driver in Noe Valley, San Francisco. “I remember thinking, If a snow globe could be used for murder it could certainly be wielded in self defense! Now there’s not a room in my house that doesn’t have one!”
“I have several special edition Disney snow globes that I use in my meditation practice,” said Amara Hernandez, a self-described “avant-vlogger” at the University of Chicago. “I’ll set them out on my window sill, shake them up and soften my gaze. There’s nothing more tranquil then watching glitter fall slowly over the Magic Kingdom.”
The Bottom Line: Part paperweight, part crystal ball, these gorgeous souvenirs simultaneously act as dust collectors and portals to the queer sublime!
Raitng: Molly Shannon’s hot chocolate headdress in How the Grinch Stole Christmas