Why Representation In Kids' Shows Like 'Arthur' And 'Sesame Street' Is Important
Currently

Yes, Representation In Kids' Shows Like 'Arthur' And 'Sesame Street' Is Important

Normalizing ALL lifestyles is so important, especially at a young age.

245
PBS

In recent news, there has been a lot of talk about what's going on in children's TV shows. "Sesame Street" added Karli, a character with "for-now parents" that is in foster care and explains to Elmo what that means in a touching scene that legitimately made me want to cry. It also wasn't too long ago that the live-action "Beauty and the Beast" featured gay characters in a first for Disney. All of these things are so important for kids to be viewing in regular movies and TV but come with their fair amount of backlash.

The most recent children's program receiving large amounts of backlash is "Arthur." The "Arthur" season premiere featured Arthur's teacher, Mr. Ratburn getting married to another man. There's nothing else remotely controversial featured on the episode, but the idea that TV is trying to "teach" an LGBTQ+ lifestyle to children has led states like Alabama to ban the episode from airing in the state.

The normalization of gay marriage and gay couples is so important for kids to start seeing as soon as possible and the idea that Alabama thinks it's wrong is much more wrong.

Adding Karli to "Sesame Street" gives children in foster care an ally that knows exactly what they're going through. It makes children in foster care feel represented and not alone, and it shows kids not in foster care that those in foster care are normal kids just like them. It normalizes the idea of foster care and welcomes the idea into the minds of children so that when they encounter a friend in foster care, it isn't some anomaly to look at weird. It's just like Karli who has her for-now parents who take care of her in place of her mom. Nothing out of the ordinary, kids already have a friendly character to base their experiences off of.

If we want to move toward a more open and accepting society, we need to get the younger generations on board.

They're our future and with shows like "Arthur" moving toward openness and representation, they're exposed to ideas that it's okay to love whoever you love no matter what. Kids are less likely to think it's out of the ordinary for two men or two women or nonbinary people to be in love with one another. I hope for a world where an episode like this isn't news, it's just the norm. This is precisely the moves we need to be making with the media. This promotes acceptance for those of all sexualities and helps kids feel represented with their own family situation or even their own sexuality. Like with Karli, this also helps them to understand all different kinds of people and when they encounter the LGBTQ+ community in their own lives, they have a friendly teacher from "Arthur" to better understand where the people in their lives are coming from.

If we start normalizing the LGBTQ+ community, foster care, learning disabilities ("Arthur" has tackled this as well), and all sorts of other things that are normal parts of people's lives for kids, the world can easily become a more accepting place for people in all walks of life. It's attitudes like the people in power in Alabama that continues to perpetuate attitudes of hatred and alienation that is the exact opposite of what we need to be teaching our children. Love, not hate always.

Report this Content
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Yes, George Floyd's Death Was A Homicide, According To Multiple Medical Reports

Protests have raged on across America in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The preliminary autopsy report on the death of George Floyd stated that Floyd did not die as a result of asphyxiation or strangulation from police officer Derek Chauvin.

Keep Reading... Show less

From dancing to singing to staying strong in moments of silence, people all over the world have come together to fight against society's structural racism, the police department's injustices, and the government's support of systematic inequality. Together, we are demanding justice and change.

The cruelty against black lives has gone on for far too long, it's absolutely disgusting and heart-wrenching. The more videos of police brutality and violence I see, the more hopeless I feel.

Keep Reading... Show less

A couple of nights ago, I was scrolling through my social media accounts and shamelessly sharing several posts that I saw as helpful or informational about the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among many others), as well as the protests that had started around the country. I have always been very loud and proud about the things I believe in, especially when it comes to educating my friends about issues in the world that they should take the time to consider. I was glad to see that so many of my friends had shared posts on their Instagram Stories highlighting the current events, but I realized that that action alone would never be enough.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

9 Rights You Need To Know BEFORE You Attend A Protest

Under the pressure of tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bang grenades you may not remember that as a civil protester, you have rights that cannot be denied.

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

As Black Lives Matter protests march on in the wake of the most recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breona Taylor, more and more people are joining the movement nationwide.

In the heat of the moment — and especially under the threat of gas, rubber bullets, and flashbang grenades — you may not remember that as a civil protester, you have rights that cannot be denied by the police, the national guard, or even the president. The ACLU put together a comprehensive tweet thread that covers all the rights you may have forgotten, or didn't even know, that you had while protesting.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Lea Michele's Subpar Apology To Her 'Glee' Co-Stars After Being Publicly Called Out Was NOT Enough

As the star of the show, Lea should have been encouraging and supportive instead of fearsome and disrespectful.

While I was never a big fan of "Glee," it was popular enough for me to know all about it. I knew they sang some of the most iconic songs, and they sang with Broadway-level voices. I knew they had a diverse cast and handled hard-hitting topics about society. I also knew, like any show with a cast of young adults, there were feuds and drama. It was like "High School Musical" as a television show but a lot more mature.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

12 Ways To Help The #BlackLivesMatter Movement If You CAN'T Protest

We can all do better. Join the fight against racial injustice.

The current state of the world has created the perfect storm for change in America. But with change there is always risk. Although protests have sprung up all across America, COVID-19 is still a very real risk. Luckily, you can help bring about change from the comfort of your own home. And no, I don't mean just by posting a black square on social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments