If you have kids, no doubt at some point you’ve had to bear with the kid’s cartoon Peppa Pig. My kids love it. My eldest isn’t into it so much now, she’s more into her Barbie shows now, but my youngest is at that age of loving Peppa.
If you don’t know Peppa Pig, she’s a young pig (maybe supposed to be 4 or 5 years old) who has a Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig and her little brother George Pig (maybe like 2 years old). Peppa and her family are the only pigs in the Peppa-verse (apart from other family members like Grampa Pig, Granny Pig and her cousins etc). All her friends are other animals, like Danny Dog, Suzy Sheep, Zoe Zebra… the list goes on.
For me, I don’t pay much attention to the show. I’m aware it’s on in the background when the kids are watching it, but you do catch some clips… especially ones that make you think. Now, there is a fair bit of adult humour in Peppa Pig which is completely oblivious with the kids. Some bits are funny – others not so. But, to say it’s a kids show, one would think it would at least educate kids to a level. I would say it does, just not educating them about acceptable things. You can probably see where I’m going with this…
I’m not here to blog about Peppa’s bratty attitude towards everything, or George crying every single time he doesn’t get his way. I’m here for Daddy Pig! The emotional torture this guy endures from his kids, his wife and even his in-laws is disgusting. He is portrayed to be this fully grown, fat pig (I mean when have you ever seen a skinny pig). I mean none of the piggy family is exactly skinny – they’re all large, but they’re pigs.
I have caught episodes where Peppa, Mummy Pig and even Grampa and Granny Pig have called Daddy Pig fat. They’ve even called him lazy. At no point has any other piggy been called fat or lazy, only Daddy Pig. Is this what we should be teaching our kids? The worse thing about it is they all laugh about the comments apart from Daddy Pig.
Kids often idolise their favourite characters on TV. Why on earth would fatism be included in this show? Mummy Pig isn’t exactly bikini material, but you never hear Daddy Pig comment on her size or appearance, so why should the shows writers think it would be ok for others to comment on Daddy Pig?
There is more to this than just writing about Peppa Pig. For more than a decade people have made quiet comments about my size, which I’ve heard. My wife endures exactly the same comments, where people think it’s disgusting to be a larger person. Believe me, there are people larger than us, we’re not huge, we’re just big! It won’t only be my wife and I that endure this as larger people, it will be anyone who is bigger than skinny.
I often read about some places where there are increasing numbers of people with eating disorders that is making them ill. Eating disorders in kids is always a concern, as well as in adults. It’s not fully understood why kids with eating disorders got to where they are. It could be brought on by their social interactions, chemical imbalances in the brain or even genetics. Could it be that have a main-stream cartoon when they’re really young teaching them it’s OK in the world to fat shame plays a part?
I’m not pretending to be a doctor, or know about human emotions etc, but things we embed into our children at a young age are likely to stick with them. So is the abuse Daddy Pig endures in the show something we should be teaching kids? Even if they’re not afraid of being on the receiving end of the abuse, is it a good thing to teach them to give the abuse? Showing young ones it’s ok to say to people “you have a big belly” or “you can’t fit, you’re too big” is not what should be happening.
Don’t get me wrong. I can protect my kids from this abuse in Peppa Pig by not letting them watch the show, but I can’t stop all other kids watching it. I can’t stop other kids growing up thinking it’s ok to shame someone for their size, but the writers of Peppa Pig could – I wonder how many of them are of a larger size and struggle with weight?
I’m going to end this here. I’ve had my rant and nothing will change. But maybe if you have kids you see Peppa Pig a bit differently now? Maybe you don’t. I know I do!