To say I’m on the urge of a mental breakdown would be the biggest understatement in the world right now. I wrote out this entire post only to have it mysteriously delete when I uploaded the pictures. It’s beyond frustrating given how many other Blogmas posts I have to write.
Now that I’ve got that little rant off my chest, I’d like to write about something much more important. I’ve been thinking about many of the problems in the entertainment industry lately, particularly in the media geared for children. While most of the movies and T.V. shows developed for the youth demographic claim to instill positive messages in kids, they seem to be doing the exact opposite by creating distorted ideas of beauty and personality.
As everyone knows, most children’s programs follow the same plot: a brave hero must conquer a treacherous villain. I don’t see any issues with this concept per se, and I understand what the creators are trying to do. They want to teach kids that they must stand up against what’s wrong in order to do what’s right. As I said, there’s nothing wrong with that in concept.
However, it’s not the concept that I’m having issues with. It’s the portrayals. In all of these children programs, the heroes have strikingly similar characteristics to the heroes, and the villains have strikingly similar characteristics to the villains. The heroes embody all of society’s conventional standards of beauty. They’re tall. They’re thin. They’re young. They’re beautiful. Villains, on the other hand, possess none of society’s traditional beauty standards. They’re physical opposites of the heroes.
This stigma implements a horrible idea in children’s heads. It teaches them to associate physical beauty with kindness. It teaches them to make snap judgments based on appearances. It teaches them to believe that all good people look a certain way, and all bad people look another.
The point to this rant is that children’s media needs to stop appropriating stereotypes. Kids should be taught to learn about other people before they make assertions. They shouldn’t be conditioned to see beauty as an internal quality rather than an external one.
Thank you for reading.
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