Let's address an elephant in the room: summer can be tough. With social media so deeply ingrained in current culture, it can feel like the only reason to go to the pool is so you can Instagram it. But it's a Catch-22, because immersing yourself in water is basically the opposite way to look cute. For this reason, many folks choose to forego swimming for the sake of the selfie. They're more than happy to pose in a in a Taylor Swift-style swan float on land. But now, for the rest of us, there is the inflatable Swan-Thing float.
Urban Outfitters' Swan-Thing is a charming, hilariously relatable, and downright weird pool accessory. Its body is reminiscent of an aquatic bird, more rotund than a swan. It appears kind of like what you would imagine would happen if a swan and a gargantuan rubber duck had a baby. But its head and neck are another story. Where a traditional swan (float) has a shapely arched neck that supports its elegant head, Swan Thing's head is about as far from elegant as can be. In fact, it might not even exist. Its cylindrical, noodle-like neck sticks straight up, and leads to its face, which is just right there on its neck. The look in its eyes can only be described as soul-piercing. What has Swan Thing seen? What does it know that the rest of us do not? Perhaps Swan Thing knows far more about this life than mortal humans ever will.
Swan Thing's design is a collaboration between Third Drawer Down and David Shrigley. British-born Shrigley, per the Urban Oufitters website, "...came to prominence through his drawings, publications, and sculptural works." His style is describes as having "a kind of throwaway beauty featuring monster children, idiots, aliens and bad parents." In the past, the two have partnered to create items including mugs, notecards, accessories, and even a set of frisbees. Clearly, though, Swan Thing is the partnership's greatest creation.
If you are someone who hopes to bring home the cutest pool float you can get your hands on (or are afraid Swan Thing might spook the kids in your neighborhood), Urban Outfitters has plenty of other options for all your buoyant, summery needs. The retailer's Avocado Pool Float has a hollow center where a pit should be, giving it the perfect shape of an inner tube. Plus, relaxing in the avocado float is likely the closest you will ever come to chilling in a giant bowl of guac, which is obviously everyone's secret, unspoken desire. The Urban Outfitters website describes the float as an "Inner tube pool float in the shape of your favorite androgynous summer fruit," this beauty is a vinyl take on your favorite toast topping. Even better, it sells for less than $30.
Prefer the sweet life? The Avocado Float's carb-laden cousin is the Lilac Donut Inner Tube Pool Float. The color of its frosting is an UO exclusive, a it even comes with faux sprinkles to complete the look. It's the perfect summer must-have to keep you dry and make you hungry.
So, at the end of the day if there is one thing to remember it is summer is for everyone. You don't need to be a celebrity to take cute vernal Instagram pics, and your pool float need not adhere to the restrictive beauty legacy left by the swan pool float explosion. Most people do not look or feel like the celebrities who precisely style and shoot each of their Instagram posts,. But that's OK!
Approach your summer like Swan-Thing would. Stare down what you want, and don't let anyone intimidate you.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect that the collaboration of the float is between David Shrigley and Third Drawer Down.