Why Were Teddy Bears Invented And Almost Banned? TikTok Explains
close-up photography of brown teddy bear
Photo by Oxana Lyashenko on Unsplash

Why Were Teddy Bears Invented And Almost Banned? TikTok Explains

Jasmyne Jeffery January 31, 2023

It’s hard to think of a time when kids didn’t have a teddy bear, but they’re actually quite a recent invention. With an interesting piece of American history behind why it’s called that, TikTok explains why were teddy bears invented. Even more, we can tell you why the cute cuddly bear was almost banned a few years later.

We all had a favourite childhood teddy; in fact, you might still have yours now. But it was only just over 100 years ago that teddy bears weren’t actually a thing. Keep your cuddly friend close as we tell you how one TikTok video explains the history behind the teddy bear.

Why Were Teddy Bears Invented? TikTok Explains

In a video by Calvin & Habs, the two explain how the name ‘teddy bear’ came from President Theodore Roosevelt after he refused to shoot a bear.

The year was 1902, and the President had been invited on a hunting trip. After being presented with a bear to shoot, Roosevelt refused because it was “unsportsmanlike” as the bear has already been caught and was defenceless. As he was the most famous man in America, it didn’t take long for the incident to make it to the papers. One candy store owner saw the story and saw an opportunity — he put two stuffed bears in his window and called them ‘teddy’s bears’

The idea became a massive success in America, however, the teddy bear had been simultaneously created in Germany. That being said the question of ‘why is it called a teddy bear?’ is all down to the former President, which is quite a legacy to hold.

Teddy Bears Were Almost Banned

Now we’ve looked at why were teddy bears invented, we might as well look into how they were almost banned a few years later.

Jason Feifer explains in his TikTok video that there was concern that young girls who had a cuddly bear would no longer play with dolls.

Only 5 years after it was invented, headlines started emerging calling the toy a “menace” and even that it “dooms race.” Quite a dramatic reaction to a toy, but there was widespread worry that girls wouldn’t develop a maternal instinct because there were no longer playing with dolls.

At the time, the belief that girls would grow up to become only wives and mothers was much more commonplace. So, the invention of the bear caused havoc, thinking that girls would no longer grow up and have children.

The TikTok video goes on to explain that schools began to ban the toy and churches even began preaching against them. What actually happened is that girls enjoyed playing with both. Humanity didn’t come to an end all because of a teddy bear. Phew.

So, it seems that despite its silly trends and memes, TikTok can actually be pretty educational too. We wouldn’t have known why were teddy bears invented. Even more, we’ve learnt how they got their name and even that there were almost banned. Of course, take things you hear on there with a pinch of salt. But, it sure does prove that every day is a learning day.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.