Blog #8 Where have all the Female Cartoon Role Models Gone?

Blog #8 Where have all the Female Cartoon Role Models Gone?

11-15-11

Yesterday I saw a little girl (21 months old) wearing a SpongeBob shirt.  I realized that kids really get into SpongeBob early.  I remember when SpongeBob SquarePants first aired in 1999.  Our oldest son Ethan was only 2 years old, and he immediately loved it!  Well, actually, my husband and I loved it more!  We have continued to watch SpongeBob through the years, as have our other children.  I know there are some parents out there who don’t allow their kids to watch SpongeBob and I respect their decisions, but I started to thinking about what kind of role model SpongeBob was for young kids, particularly girls.

There is a prominent female character on SpongeBob who is actually a SCIENTIST!  Her name is Sandy Cheeks.  What a great role model, right?  Except she only wears a bikini.  That doesn’t sound good.  Did I mention that Sandy Cheeks is a squirrel?  Does that make the bikini more acceptable?  Not really.  When she is out of her aquarium, she does wear an astronaut suit so she can breathe underwater.

The other female characters include Mrs. Puff and Pearl.  Mrs. Puff (a fish) is a teacher (good role model!) whose main student, SpongeBob, keeps failing her class.  That’s not really a good example either.  Pearl is a whale, who seems quite materialistic and spoiled, but her character is a teenage girl, so that seems a bit realistic.

So who can our daughters look up to?  Easy answer: their parents!  Although I am a scientist like Sandy Cheeks, I do NOT wear a bikini to work (my lab members all breathe a sigh of relief here!!).  But I encourage my daughter (and sons) to be anything they want to be!!  And we all watch SpongeBob regularly and enjoy the dim-witted Patrick, enthusiastic SpongeBob, and my favorite: The Evil Plankton who wants to Rule the World!  I may dedicate my next blog to Plankton!

Have a great day!

~Kacey

 




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