Stereotypes in Children’s Television: “The Proud Family”
“The Proud Family” is a children’s program that runs daily on The Disney Channel and on Saturday mornings on ABC Kids. It is a TV-G rated program. The show is about an African-American family with the last name Proud. There is a mom, dad, three kids, and a grandmother. The main character of the show is the oldest daughter named Penny Proud who is probably in junior high. Also, some of Penny’s friends are in the show. All of the characters in this show are stereotyped by many things such as race and gender, including Penny.
The first stereotype I noticed about the show was ...view middle of the document...
However, there were also other gender stereotypes in the show as well. The girl, Dlionay was often shown as the kind of “damsel in distress.” A few times a boy was sent to rescue her. For example, one of her friends was stuck out in the water and instead of getting him herself, she plead to the other boy to please save him. This shows the stereotype that men are stronger and braver than women and that women need their protection.
Other than Penny and Dlionay, there were other characters in “The Proud Family” that fit the typical minority stereotype as well. There were two radio hosts along with a few others that fit the stereotype that minority characters are goofy and lazy. For example, the radio announcers sang and made funny voices and also said silly things. Then, they were in a way stereotyped as lazy because but there were overweight and ate all the food at the eating contest, and these are things that are associated with laziness.
All of the stereotypes shown in the program help to reinforce society’s views of gender and racial identity. The way that the characters in this program were stereotyped might lead children to believe that all African-Americans call each other “brotha” and then a child that watches this show might call someone African-American that one day and get into trouble. This program did nothing to try and break away from what society views a specific race as, and instead the program reinforced it by using typical stereotypes of the African-American population.
My reaction to the character of Penny is mixed. I did like her as a character because she was compassionate and cared about her friends and family, and I believe this can help to teach children that are watching this show that these values are important in life. However, I wish they would have gotten away from the typical African-American stereotype and would have not made Penny with such enlarged features and not talk so much the way she did. I would like them to change this because I feel that in a way they cartoonists are making fun of African-Americans by over exaggerating their facial features and speech dialect. Also, I don’t believe with these characteristics there can be an accurate portrayal of the general African-American population and that they are depersonalizing the characters by making them all look so much alike. Penny was also very thin in the show, as were all of the other female characters except for the older grandmother. I think that if I was creating the show I would have not had all of the characters be so skinny that it is unrealistic, because it can give children in real life confidence problems with their weight, even at a young...