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 the way the cartoonist drew the different characters. All of the African-American characters were drawn with enormous lips and huge noses. Meanwhile, the two Caucasian characters in the show were both drawn with wider heads and seemed smarter than the other characters in the show. Also, all the African-American characters talked in a dialect while the Caucasian characters talked slower. In addition, all of the African-American characters all called each other "brotha," which is another stereotype, because not all African-Americans call each other that or like to be called that.
There are many stereotypes made about the main character Penny. First, her race is the main issue in the show. She is shown drawn the same way as the other African-American, with the bigger features described before. Penny also has a kind of attitude about her, which is also often associated with African-American females. Not only is she stereotyped by race, but by gender as well. She is shown as the smart and understanding friend, probably because she is the main girl character in the show. For example, when her friend, Dlionay, has a problem with a boy, Penny is the one that helps Dlionay out and gives her advice and helps her try to win back the boy.
However, there were also other gender stereotypes in the show as well. The girl, Dlionay was often shown...
Cited: Perse, Elizabeth M. Media Effects and Society. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001.
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