The forgotten origin of Smurfette

I smurfed across a piece of pop culture trivia while babysitting my niece last night.smurfette

After playing with my old Smurfs figurines for a while, she wanted to see an actual Smurfs cartoon. So I went to YouTube and searched “Smurfs.”

One of the first results was an episode titled “The Smurfette,” labeled as “S01E01” (though says it’s the 21st episode, which came out in 1981).

Turns out, Smurfette was not a naturally born Smurf, nor was she a natural blonde.

Smurfette was a creation of Gargamel. He intended this black-haired girl Smurf to infiltrate the all-male Smurfs and spy on them.

And indeed, she caused some trouble, at least until Papa Smurf cast a spell to make her more like a “real” Smurf. This colored her hair yellow, because good Smurf girls have yellow hair and bad Smurf girls have black hair. I guess. But to become a really real Smurf, Smurfette needed to do something truly smurfy.

She saved the boys from the clutches of Gargamel, and that did the trick. Yay! Smurfette has smurfed into a true Smurf.

So if you, like me, have wondered why Smurfette was the only female Smurf in all the land, there’s your answer. Female Smurfs are unnaturally created from evil wizards.

Smurf. That’s all I can say about that bit of early ’80s sexism. Just smurf.

But at least she saved the day in the end. That’s got to count for something, right?

Smurf if for yourself: