When I was little, I watched a lot of TV shows. Who am I kidding, I still watch a lot of TV shows. But, when you’re a kid, you’re still learning about the world, so you learn a lot of things from your TV shows, whether you realize it or not. You might not have realized that over the past decade or so, kids shows have gotten pretty progressive. If you don’t know what that means, in simple terms, they are introducing themes that many people can relate to, even though they are rarely represented. This means that these shows are finally starting to represent minorities like LGBTQ characters, female characters, and people of color. It’s about time, TBH! And there are a few of them that have gone above and beyond.
Some of these shows are from when I was younger, and some of these shows are still on, which is pretty cool, since kids nowadays will grow up watching them, and feel included when there are relatable characters on screen. This just shows how important it is for people of all different walks of life to be represented. Everyone, at one point in their life, was a kid who watched a cartoon or kids show, and it’s nice that they will be represented! Okay, enough ranting, here are some of the most progressive TV moments from kids shows.
Doc McStuffinsThis little kids show is not only cute AF, but recently featured a same-sex interracial couple. They were voiced by Portia de Rossi and Wanda Sykes, and played a couple who was teaching their kids about what to do in the event of an emergency, like an Earthquake. So, not only was it cool to see this couple on screen, it also taught kids and important safety lesson. This just shows that TV characters can do other things besides just be "the gay couple". Not only that, but Doc McStuffins features an African-American girl as the show's lead, which is super rare for a kids show.
Good Luck CharlieGood Luck Charlie was a show that aired on Disney Channel from 2010-2014. This show gained a lot of attention for featuring an episode with two moms. Of course, there was backlash for it, but the fact that Disney did this was pretty cool. It shows that same-sex couples DO exist and have families, just like heterosexual couples!
Steven UniverseThis show is perhaps the most open minded and important show on TV right now - and it's a kids show. It shatters the idea that kids shows need to be filled with masculine men and weak women. It follows Steven - a sensitive and loving boy and a ton of badass beings known as Gems, saving the universe. The best part is that the creator of the show has stated that the Gems don't identify as a specific gender. All in all, this show is pretty freaking progressive, and it's cool that kids are growing up watching it.
Gravity FallsThis show also features two men who admit their love for each other by the end of the series. Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durand were confirmed to be in an interracial, same-sex relationship by the final season of the show.
Bob's BurgersThis show is sort of a kids show and sort of an adult show, but I think it's pretty important for anyone to watch. Tina, the oldest daughter, often speaks out about her sexuality, which is super rare for young girls. Girls are always told that they can't be sexual, but Tina is always talking about her sexual desires and crushes, which is totally normal!
Hey ArnoldHey Arnold is a pretty underrated kids show, but it dealt with really heavy and adult themes. But, they did it in a way that kids could understand. I will never ever forget that one episode where Mr. Hyunh, a Vietnamese immigrant, told the story about leaving his country and his long-lost daughter. It was an emotional episode but important for kids to see what other people go through.
RugratsRugrats actually had quite a bit of progressive storylines. The Deville's mom was often smashing gender stereotypes, and Tommy's mom never liked enforcing gender roles. In one particular episode, Chuckie (who is normally shy and skittish) wonders why boys can't wear dresses. He begins to start wearing skirts, and the other boys follow. It's a small detail, but shows that kids are so much more accepting of certain things.
Which of these shows did you watch as a kid?Tell us in the comments!