After years of calls for additional LGBTQ+ characters on the show, the popular kids’ show Peppa Pig featured its first female same-sex couple on air. The show, which first aired in 2004, has been running for almost two decades now. This is the first time a same-sex couple has appeared on the show in its 18-year history. The show has been translated into forty languages ââand is broadcast in more than 180 countries.
Peppa Pig, the iconic British children’s show, is perhaps one of the most identifiable cartoon shows watched and enjoyed by audiences around the world today. It also has a huge reach in India, with children watching the show religiously.
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“I live with my mom and my other mom”
The current plot focuses on Penny the polar bear and her two mothers. It is during a conversation between Penny Bear and main character Peppa Pig that the same-sex couple is introduced. Penny Bear informs Peppa that she has two mums while sketching a picture of herself holding hands in a recently aired family episode in the UK.
Mentioning that one of her mothers is a doctor, she tells Peppa, “I live with my mum and my other mum.”
British animators Neville Astley and Mark Baker are the creators of the show. Peppa Pig, which won three BAFTA awards, revolves around Peppa, a piglet, living with her parents, and their family life. A petitionwhich debuted on a US-based website in 2019 for the show to feature same-sex parents, has received around 25,000 signatures.
At a time when LGBTQ+ representation is criticized by the conservative masses, Peppa Pig stepping up to represent same-sex couples on air is an important and welcoming initiative on a global scale. Recently, several Muslim-majority countries banned Pixar Light yeara toy story spin-off, released from theaters because it featured a kiss between its two gay characters. According reportsGulf Arab governments have now asked popular OTT streaming platform Netflix to remove â in their language â any offensive content referencing shows with LGBTQ+ protagonists.
In a world where we are witnessing horrific hatred and violence, teaching children empathy and acceptance from an early age is the only hope. It could help us bring about a positive change in the fabric of our nations.
Of course, there will be mixed reactions. On the one hand, some parents may think it’s unnecessary and the show could have just been a kids’ show. While several parents welcome this new plot. After the post, a Twitter user wrote, “Why does sex have to come into play for kids.” Another social media user disagreed and replied, “Did you ask that when there were opposite-sex couples on the show?” Another wrote: âSo what do you think? The world didn’t stop when my kids saw the first gay couple on Peppa Pig.
Love and acceptance start at an early age
According to the Academy of Pediatrics, children begin early to master gender identification. At a stage when children’s cognitive skills are developing, it is essential to make all relevant information accessible. They will be okay instead of feeling weird about it. If we fail to deal with same-sex couples and families, we deprive the child of a crucial understanding of same-sex family dynamics. Also, normality in families with one parent or two parents of opposite sexes.
biological sex and sexual orientation are two different things. Children may not understand these terms, but they know how they feel. Often, children with a variety of orientations end up in the cocoon because they are different. This difference can be normalized, if children know that these things exist. What’s wrong is that adults don’t let their children ask questions. We need to be able to get them the right answers â honest answers â because how else will they learn? Otherwise, how will they learn to accept people as they are and where they come from? Peppa Pig is a springboard in this regard. Not only does it standardize, but it also guides how to accept fellows with similar tendencies. Children can learn about LGBTQ+ people from anywhere, so it becomes crucial to step in and teach them about gender identities, whether or not your child is from the LGBTQ+ community.
Families need to be self-reflective and educate themselves to create a respectful environment. Our top priority should be educating children about inclusivity and breaking gender stereotypes. And while we’re at it, let’s not mix tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance means putting up with something and acceptance means fully understanding and acknowledging with an open heart and mind. Let’s educate our children about the issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, or any other oppressed community for that matter, which can lay the groundwork at an early age for the acceptance of human equality. Here’s hoping the Peppa Effect leads in a positive direction for more to come.