Parents can usually count on kid’s shows to teach their children about ABCs, 123s, and general social-emotional skills. However, a true educational kid’s shows should also be showing proper representations of real families and different family structures.
The hit British cartoon — Peppa Pig — introduced a same-sex parent family to their cast of characters for the first time in seven seasons. The historical moment occurred during an episode entitled "Families," which aired on Channel 5 in the UK this week.
In a short but poignant scene, Peppa's classmate Penny Polar Bear talks about how she has “two mommies” and what makes each special. Penny Polar Bear draws a picture of her family, which depicts herself and two adult polar bears in dresses. Penny explains, “I'm Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mommy and my other mommy. One mommy is a doctor and one mommy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.”
The move to include the lesbian parents comes after a 2019 petition which garnered over 23,000 signatures. "Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal,” the petition reads. “This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance.”
The introduction of Penny’s two moms has also gained the respect of some prominent LGTBQ+ activists. Robbie de Santos, director of communications and external affairs at LGBT rights charity Stonewall, told BBC the inclusion of a lesbian couple was “fantastic.”
"Many of those who watch the show will have two mums or two dads themselves and it will mean a lot to parents and children that their experiences are being represented on such an iconic children's program," he said.
Hopefully more children’s programs will get on board with showing real families and a more inclusive environment.