Bing bang Diggiriggidong
A few posts ago, I made a remark about "oversexualized" children's television characters, and the comments section started buzzing a little bit with interesting nominations. Someone actually disagreed with me about Little Bear because, she said, Little Bear has to run around naked while the other animals remain clothed, which makes some sense to me.
I countered with June from the increasingly omnipresent Little Einsteins show. While the other kids explore the world in dungarees and T-shirts, she wears a tutu, cocks her hips, and is always twirling around. Forced to watch a pirate episode of Little Einsteins the other day, I couldn't help but notice that all three of the other Little Einsteins were wearing dorky skull-and-crossbones hats while June was wearing a pink bandana, as though the dorky hat weren't dignified enough for her. Over the holidays, my brother-in-law and I were trapped in my parents' living room with our kids and a Little Einsteins episode, and when June did her little "dansey dansey dance," he looked at me and said, "am I seeing this right?" and I said, "I believe you are."
Another comment mentioned Stephanie on the Nickelodeon show Lazy Town, which is a live-action/puppetry hybrid produced by a leading Icelandic aerobics instructor (this is true), with the aim of getting kids to eat well and exercise. There are two human males on the show, the hero Sportacus and the lazy villian Robbie Rotten. Then there's eight-year-old Stephanie, the mayor's niece, who arrives in town in a baby-doll dress and a bright-pink bob wig and immediately starts dancing around and singing lyrics like this, to a techno beat:
Bing bang diggiriggidong
Funny words I sing when I am dancing.
Bing bang diggiriggidong
Silly words that can mean anything.
"Stephanie" is played by a 14-year-old Broadway actress whose name is sort of like Juliana Margulies. While she isn't really my speed, which is fortunate because I'm 36 years old, I can see how many preteen boys might be using her as a comfortable springboard to adult sexuality, much in the way that Lynda Carter opened the gates to so many of my generation. Apparently, according to this bulletin board and this one, I'm not the only person who recognizes the phenomenon. It seems that a lot of moms around the world like Sportacus.
So I must beg the question here: Do the makers of kids' TV shows occasionally make little deliberate nods to the moms and dads in their audience, most of whose sex lives have withered like kiwi fruit in winter? Is it accidental? Am I just being a pervert? Why were the cheesy sex icons of children's television in my childhood, like, say, Electrawoman and Dynagirl and Daphne from Scooby Doo, actually adults? Were is that gronwup eye candy for dads now? And are the rumors true? Are there adult women out there who really want to fuck the Wiggles?
People. Let this discussion continue. Together we can change the world.