Questionable or inappropriate stamp designs

Another questionable stamp issued by Polish Post in 2018 - perpetuating the denialist belief that one of the main causes of climate change are VOLCANOES :confused:
volcano stamp


I see them as very pretty and happy Chinese stamps of children playing. No one is looking under anyone’s skirt. The kids are indeed making sure the player doesn’t step on the line.


The kids games stamp isn’t that bad.
Here is an article I found regarding the stamp’s images. I was right in that they’re based on cartoon or comic characters hence the “cutesy” style.


You are absolutely entitled to give your opinion on a matter of feminism, Ksenia! :laughing:

I have to agree with @xute, @kotona, and @Veromarty that the Chinese stamp in question appears (to me, at least) to depict the children as equally cute, and to show that the boys are simply watching to see if their friend steps on a line. :woman_shrugging: I think it’s a bit of a stretch to declare that it’s meant to depict the boys looking up the girl’s skirt; if that was the artist’s intent, I would imagine the depiction would be more overt.

And as far as their clothing…as a girl, I played in both played in both pants and skirts. To show a girl wearing a skirt doesn’t necessarily make a statement that all girls should wear skirts. It simply says, here is a girl wearing a skirt.

As for the Tom of Finland stamps, yes, they are overtly sexual–and that’s okay, because they show two adult men who seem to be enjoying what’s happening. I wouldn’t send these to children, obviously, but I love these! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Edit: I said “Tom of Holland” before. :woman_facepalming: :joy: My brain conflated the artist and the actor. Clearly, my coffee has not kicked in yet (does it ever, though?)…


I don’t think it is art at all, unless you count porn in general as art. They certainly weren’t meant to be displayed in an art gallery! They were his dirty drawings intended to be enjoyed in the same context.

Perhaps it would have been better to choose some of his more conservative works? He is a cultural icon and his works celebrate something that does need highlighting.

(I’ve got three sheets of these stamps filed away. I will send a card to myself with them on one day!)

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@Ludek War theme is everywhere in Russian stamps!

I found very questionable Russian stamp (of course it’s war related - and I have a maxicard with it - I collect things with background story):

The War heroes, but their main bravery act is very questionable - even named as war crime (, but yet legit by wartimes rules (Germans had similar -


I think Tom of Finland case is to bring out to light some subculture art.
When they were issued, my penfriends sent me all of them, and one very conservative postcard. When they are separately on postcard they look less sexual, like a collage (the right one). I can’t say for sure I would enjoy getting them on ‘normal’ cards, I have a full set and that’s enough.

The porn thing - I feel that the border is very thin, many ‘erotic’ postcards I see on official postcrossing I consider not-interesting and without an idea hence porn (nudity in sake of nudity), but art unlimited cards even when it’s close up genitalia I consider some sort of modern art, since they have an idea (I wouldn’t imagine though any other country had plain erotic stamps! Finland is unique in that sense)


I’m delighted that Finland is able to represent famous Finnish culture, traditions, and artworks on stamps, including Tom of Finland (although it does make me blush a little :blush:).



Thank you for the explanation!

How someone sees this or that thing depends on his or her degree of depravity. Everything is clean for the clean and everything is dirty for the dirty.


I received some vintage stamps that have become inappropriate over the years. One is for Americans-the Confederate flag on a stamp. I found it offensive and ended up giving it away. The other was a stamp I seen with the word “retarded” on it. It was to raise money or awareness for cognitively challenged children, but we no longer use this word in America, without offense anyways.

What I don’t like about this stamp is that it seems that the two girls are playing hopscotch (a traditional “girls” game) and the boys are looking on. The girls seem to be competing for the boys’ attention. It is clear that the currently playing girl is doing vey well and the other girl is disappointed; the boys on the other hand don’t seem to care, they are either looking up the playing girl’s skirt or just checking to see if she is “in” or not. Either way, I don’t get the impression that all four children are playing together.

All that said, this is a discussion over nuances. Germany issued a “Heidi” stamp recently and while the stamp itself is completely inoffensive, the sex role stereotypes in “Heidi” are legion. I still enjoyed sending that stamp and am sorry it is sold out!


I’m very sorry that there are no Tom of Finland stamps here in Germany. I would love them to be sent on required letters to the finance office or some other public authorities. :man_shrugging:


Or to Russia :rofl:

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I inherited a lot of old US stamps from my mom and I’ve been trying to use them on postcards I send. There’s quite a few commemorating various war themes, and also some state flags which have confederate-y type things on them. I’m sure there’s others with things that just haven’t aged well.

I’m just using them because they’re valid for postage, I hope I don’t offend anyone.

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Im sorry, but I would be far more shocked and uninterested to receive Tom of Finland (who I only learnt 2 minutes ago) than the chinese stamps. Just my 2 cents.


That the stamps show images from comics presumably from the 80s, is the context I was looking for. Thank you @princeofasturias! It kind of fits. And it makes it a bit more okay in my mind that they weren’t created in 2017 but 3-4 decades ago. The stamps were probably bought by nostalgic adults.

From my experience with Asian culture, I would say that the boys on the stamp in question are most definitely not just looking at the lines. :wink: Why else would only the boys crouch down and peek?

Maybe it’s because I watched too much anime in my childhood that I immediately see this while some of you only see an innocent game. Rather often in these shows and in comics as well, there is at least one person who is an incorrigible “pervert” which is played for laughs. It is especially creepy when it is a boy (or girl) who hasn’t even entered puberty or when it is directed at a child that age. But I think that isn’t as common anymore as it was once.

Oh, and I must admit that I am not very familiar with Chinese comics and Chinese people will probably be outraged that I compare them with Japanese comics in this post… :eyes: (I am sorry.) The stamp just reminded me very much of the Japanese media that I was subjected to as a child. I didn’t encounter this to nearly the same degree in Western media.

One famous case of a mischievous perverted preschooler is the protagonist of Crayon Shin-chan:

(I hated that show when I was young but I often watched it when I visited a friend after school. I was sent a Shin-chan postcard roughly a year ago, and it was very satisfying to shred it to pieces. I am a bit sorry for the sender.)

Sexual harassment can be found all over in Japanese children’s media of that time.

As a laugh, the subject is not treated seriously.

To be fair, anime & manga also show female perverts. Men are often just as objectified as women. Both things are not okay though and neither should they be shown and advertised on stamps. Also, also, there are good examples among Asian animation, too. These are some very bad examples. But there is a notable tendency. Japan seems to have a problem with sexualization of young children, at least in their media. And times have changed. I hope that anime & manga are not as bad anymore nowadays. I can’t really tell though, because I don’t watch anime for children and teens anymore :wink:

I don’t mind Tom of Finland. (I’d be delighted to receive such a stamp!) It is rather clear what the stamps depict and most people wouldn’t just send them out mindlessly. They also show two (presumably) consenting adults, no problem there. They advocate the still controversial topic of gay sex which is wonderful. :hearts: Better not send it to your traditionally-minded grandmother or a family household with small children. But you are good to go to send it to people who you know are going to appreciate them!

However, many people don’t look closely at the stamp with the four children and overlook that what is depicted might not be okay. They see cute drawings and think they must be intended for children. Which they probably are…? They also show sexual harassment. And this casual handling of sexual harassment is way more problematic in my opinion.


I would be delighted to receive a Tom of Finland stamp, since I have an interest in LGBT history and art.

These are some stamps from the US that may not be to everyone’s tastes. Some of them have not aged well, and others are somewhat controversial to begin with :wink:

retarded children can be helped crippled turning the tide


My question is, what kind of stamps are appropriate to you anyway? I mean what is wrong with boys and girls who play together? They seem to be just 5 or 6 years old. They have nothing sexual in mind at these ages. Girls wearing skirts. What is so weird about that? I have a daughter and I put het to wear skirts and trousers too. Guess what: She looks cuter in skirts. That is NO sterotype. That is what I see. Stop being over irritated. Instead of looking at the positive, you look at the negative which can also do not exist. Why didn’t anyone think that this series of stamps promote sociliazing and playing all together, therefore promoting the respect to everyone? Has anybody considered this?


Oof–those first two are laughably, painfully outdated. :laughing: They’re interesting as a curiosity of time past, but…yeah, I would reserve those for collectors only! And the last one, well…maybe for fans of the TV show…? :upside_down_face:

I have the WWI stamps; I thought it was nice to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the war, but since you would have to look closely at the stamp’s date to surmise that this was the occasion for the release of the stamp, I usually don’t send them unless people request history/military history themes. And if the recipient is in a country formerly allied with the Central Powers, I might explicitly mention that I am sending that stamp strictly according to their historical interest. :heart:

Admittedly, when I put “postage stamps” on my Christmas list this year, I did mention that I didn’t want the “Drug Free America” stamps. :sweat_smile: