Weight Stigma’s In Children’s Shows


Madilynn Cook, Staff Writer

What is a stigma? A stigma is a mark of disgrace with a particular circumstance. How does this correlate with children’s shows?

Take Peppa Pig for example: in one of the episodes, Peppa is talking to Daddy pig saying “You don’t look very fit Daddy, your tummy is a bit big.” First and foremost this is teaching kids to make fun of people for having big bellies. We as a society need to throw away the idea that people that have larger bodies or frames are “never fit.”

Another great example is Trolls. When King Gristle Jr. asks a Lady Glitter Sparkles on a date, he immediately goes back to his castle and starts to work out. He says “lose 30 pounds in eight hours.” Not only is this an example for kids that they have to lose weight to be worthy of love, but it also encourages an unhealthy relationship with exercising, eating disorders, and more.

In Zootopia is it ironic how a movie about stereotyping and prejudice features a cheetah who struggles with weight and is always eating or referencing food in every scene he is in. This cheetah is always out of breath and loses food amongst his body rolls. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with this character, he is obviously just the comedic relief, but this is promoting the idea that “fat” people are just to be funny or to be made a mockery of.

We as a society and community are teaching kids that body-shaming is acceptable when it comes to the norm with these moments in children’s movies. We are also sending the message that thin, able-bodied people are the most valuable.

We need to find a hero and antagonist who defy those stereotypes.

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