|Don't Weird it Up by Drawing Comparisons with Me!|
From what I can understand, the reasons include:
- Size: bears are usually big, their size often amplified by the thick, hairy growth that makes them look broader and bigger than they actually might be. In some way, bigger sized animals, not as huge as King Kong, perhaps induce that feeling of being able to keep you safe. The look is not athletic or muscular, sans any degree of aggressiveness. This is also a great camouflage because grizzlies can be very violent
- Eyes: bears have somewhat innocent eyes. These are not angry or emotive like that of a big cat or a dog. Bear eyes are something close to being round and on occasions, might look sad. The slight droopiness adds to that aura. Still, I don't recall any writer or comic book illustrator using bear eyes in their illustrative work or as an example to quote.
- Stance: most bear images have the four-legged creature with the upper, front legs upheld, like arms. I cannot put this into words but that stance, that pose has some sort of likeability about it. If you want to compare, Google some images of cats and dogs raised on their hind limbs and you will realize that this posture is invariably cute. Even for guys who run away from words like "cute"
- Head: a round head, almost perfectly round with rounded eyes and a snout. These seem like the perfect ingredients for making most animals look friendly, less threatening, and more pattable. The rounded ears perched on either sides, never flapping, never rolling down or up, always firm in their upright stance complete a look that induces an inaccurate sense of innocence
- Walk: that slow, ultra-slow walking style, somewhere between being a sloth and an elephant, further adds to the impression of bears being passive, too dormant to do any harm. If you have ever watched videos of bears walking, they have no sniffing action, there is nothing about their walk which makes them look circumspect about their surroundings. It seems bears have an inborn talent of mindfulness, merely concentrating on themselves, cut-away from the world, walking in absolute peace. The animal kingdom's monk?
...wait, I forgot Honey! If there was ever an animal food choice that has helped to create an illusion concealing the real persona, you don't have to look far away from books with images of bears eating directly from a pot of honey. This is perhaps rooted somewhere in our sub-conscience. How can an animal who feeds on honey be not sweet?