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Sugar Pea

Movies/TV Stereotypes in kid shows: Good or bad?

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(edited)

Just as the title reads, are these things good or bad?

Edited by Princess PeachBlink

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As long as it's done with purpose and it's executed well, I can let it slide.

But, if it isn't, it's a recipe for a character disaster.

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It's not about whether things are stereotypes or not, it's about what you do with them. Look at MLP. Formula ensemble of friends who all have different traits, who share pieces of a powerful plot resolving device and have to work together blah blah. It works because the characters are well written and lovable. Execution makes any cliche genius.

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It really depends. Cliche character models aren't usually that interesting, but for kid shows they might work.

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(edited)

Stereotypes are not inherently bad. As said before, it's how they are handled more than the fact that they are or are not a stereotype that matters. This goes for everything, not just kids shows.

Edited by Discordian

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Stereotypes can work in kid's shows if they're done well and can teach about certain types of people. Also goes for all other media which uses stereotypes.

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It's fairly hard NOT to stereotype, because in some way or another it will form into some kind of category.

However I'm not particularly fond of it when they stereotype teens in a lot of cartoons (pretty true in most cases though!).

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(edited)

I think we should encourage less stereotypes in kids shows. Often stereotypes, when used over and over and over again, can encourage negative, exclusionary thinking. For example, if a young boy repeatedly watches tv shows where the male characters are super-strong hyper-masculine superheroes, boys may subconsciously start to wonder "is there something wrong with me if I'm not super masculine like that?" Or if young girls repeatedly watch shows where the female characters are helpless damsels in distress, they may subconsciously start to think its wrong for girls to stand up for themselves. It's these tropes that could be harmful. Other tropes, though not necessary harmful, simply encourage flat characters and bad writing.

 

One thing I've always loved about MLP is that it goes beyond the stereotypes. On face it looks like the ponies are just "the quiet one," "the country bumpkin," "the bookworm," "the princess," "the ditz," and "the jock..." But these girls defy their character archetype in a lot of ways during the show. They are not flat characters. Usually, especially when an episode is focused on one of the ponies individually, we see different sides and dimensions to them. That's not the case with a LOT of shows aimed at young girls.

Edited by Jennabun

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(edited)

It isn't necessarily good or bad.  I mean, at the start of MLP you could kinda simplify and fit each Mane 6 character's personality into a limited little box.  But, as the show progressed, you saw more of each character's personality, and it didn't always strictly mesh with what was established early on in the series.  So perceivable stereotypes are only as limiting / character-hindering as the writers decide they are.  And really - starting off that way allows room for meaningful character development.  Whether or not you actually see this development may well determine if it's a genuinely worthwhile kids show or just something with pretty colors and occasional laughs with which to distract small folk.  (To be fair, I also might enjoy the latter lol.)

Edited by PegaMister

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I think stereotyping can be used to teach children, like with Zecora. so its a :yay:

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DT and SS are prime examples of stereotypes, typical rich girls who bully lower class girls. But they have been executed quite well, and I think SS even shows some hope for development, because one time she didn't laugh with DT when DT did something that crossed the line.

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I think we should encourage less stereotypes in kids shows. Often stereotypes, when used over and over and over again, can encourage negative, exclusionary thinking. For example, if a young boy repeatedly watches tv shows where the male characters are super-strong hyper-masculine superheroes, boys may subconsciously start to wonder "is there something wrong with me if I'm not super masculine like that?" Or if young girls repeatedly watch shows where the female characters are helpless damsels in distress, they may subconsciously start to think its wrong for girls to stand up for themselves. It's these tropes that could be harmful. Other tropes, though not necessary harmful, simply encourage flat characters and bad writing.

 

One thing I've always loved about MLP is that it goes beyond the stereotypes. On face it looks like the ponies are just "the quiet one," "the country bumpkin," "the bookworm," "the princess," "the ditz," and "the jock..." But these girls defy their character archetype in a lot of ways during the show. They are not flat characters. Usually, especially when an episode is focused on one of the ponies individually, we see different sides and dimensions to them. That's not the case with a LOT of shows aimed at young girls.

I see that breakfast club reference...But I agree.I think stereotypes go bad when they go into racial sterotypes,religous sterptypes,gender stereotypes, the like.But they go so far from truth or flanderize the stereotype that it turns into one big racist,sexist,etc. thing! For example: You know how in some movies theres a token black person who's a "gangster"and constantly says things like "dawg" and "dayumm" and stuff like that? That's a flanderized stereotype.

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Stereotypes should not be used to teach children, and as @Jennabun said, girls might think it's wrong to stand up for themselves and boys might think there's something wrong with them if they're not muscular and huge.

 

Gender roles/stereotypes are abominations.

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Gender roles/stereotypes are abominations.

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Gender roles are quite benign as long as they don't have to be strictly adhered to. I find nothing wrong with the notion that guys should be "big and strong" (our biology suggests we should be) but there's nothing wrong with not being big and strong either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't conform to gender stereotypes, but whenever gender is brought up nowadays, there's one irritating knee jerk reaction: Gender roles are bad, and people who conform to their gender roles are blind, stupid, or oppressing themselves. That sort of stance is just silly. 

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Stereotypes can be a useful teaching tool, especially if it's used to avert the stereotype. Stereotypes are an inherent feature of human psychology related to the concept of false equivocation[1], which is exceptionally common. While I also agree that the concept of gender roles is destructive to the fabric of humanity as a whole, the reasoning behind it is not unsound; for a very long time, it was very difficult to survive as a human[2], and since males are naturally inclined to strength and muscle definition[3], it is only natural that these gender roles developed. Now that we don't have to fight for survival (usually), the need for gender roles has diminished significantly, hence why people feel challenged by them, and the need to challenge them. 

 

Stereotypes are generally grounded in reality to some extent, hence why they develop. It is up to the writers of whichever show to enforce or break it.

 

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

[2]: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/seminarpapers/dg09102006.pdf

[3]: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8477683

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