The Army Has a New Mascot. Run For Your Lives.

Defense spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich receives a gesture of friendship from Nong Kiew Koy at Wednesday’s news conference. Image: Sutima_VoiceTV21‏ / Twitter

BANGKOK — A mascot designed by the defense ministry to promote national reconciliation has instead creeped out social media.

Unveiled Wednesday, Nong Kiew Koy, or “Pinky Finger Girl,” is a smiling girl in overalls with her pinky finger extended, a Thai gesture of mending friendship.

But if army brass were hoping for a cultural coup like that achieved by Japanese mascots, they were wrong. Most people on the internet think Nong Kiew Koy looks more disturbing than friendly.

One Twitter user compares her to a Hollywood haunted doll.

A popular cartoonist suggests she will probably end up being shunned by all of the factions she is meant to appeal to.

A keen-eyed netizen found an uncanny resemblance between Nong Kiew Koy and Pongpan Chan-ocha, a sister-in-law of junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha whose extravagant treatment became national news last year.

A manga artist attempted to improve her to be more kawaii so more people would like her.

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Teeranai Charuvastra can be reached at teeranai@khaosodenglish.com and followed on Twitter at @teeranai_c. He began working for Khaosod newspaper in 2012 before switching to Khaosod English in late 2013. His interests include politics, crime, the monarchy and the latest Naga sightings.