There’s no doubt we wouldn’t be the people we are today without having idolized our favorite characters from the TV shows that raised us. We all know they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. Our generation is generally more socially conscious than the one before, and maybe we have our childhood icons to thank for that. Just like Blair Waldorf was totally responsible for my headband phase, these OG SJWs definitely played a part in our generation’s attitude toward social issues. Here are some of their wokest moments.
If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the internet going crazy over the fact that the kids’ show Arthur just revealed that the teacher Mr. Ratburn is gay. The show’s season premier featured Mr. Ratburn’s wedding to another man. While this obviously didn’t happen during our childhood (seriously who even knew Arthur was still getting new episodes?), the show has tackled a lot of issues over the years that have taught us to be more understanding people, like in the episode where they introduce a character with Asperger’s syndrome.
2. Bill Nye the Science Guy
Another recent woke moment that blew up was Bill Nye the Science Guy’s appearance on John Oliver’s show. How could anyone forget the man who made learning infinitely better? Any day at school when the old TV was rolled in and you heard the infamous chant “BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL!” it was bound to be a good one. Damn, I miss being in middle school when I was young and carefree and didn’t have knee pain. Anyway, Bill Nye was just so wholesome. He almost made it seem like, at least for my quiz on the solar system that week, everything was going to be okay. Which is why him yelling at us all to “grow the f*ck up” about climate change is so shockingly hilarious and amazing. It’s exactly what the world needs to hear right now, and Bill Nye is honestly the most trustworthy person we could possibly hear it from. Even before this, he has had a history of being pretty woke, like the time he spoke on his show Bill Nye Saves the World about the spectrums of gender and sexuality beyond just X and Y chromosomes. Bill Nye is the educational voice that we have always needed.
3. Blue’s Clues
You may have not even realized that Blue from Blue’s Clues is a girl. Yes. She is a queen who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes. She and her bestie Magenta were saying F U to the idea that blue is only a boy color and pink is a girl color all the way back in ‘96. No question, these female dogs made us the bad betches we are today.
4. The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls taught us, like, the rules of feminism from a very young age. They were not messing around about dismantling the patriarchy. Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom were the epitome of girl power. They were sister superheroes taking down any villains (one of which was literally called “Him”!!!) that got in their way. Name a more iconic trio. You can’t.
5. That’s So Raven
I literally can’t hear the title That’s So Raven without getting the theme song stuck in my head. Everytime Raven had a vision I was so jealous I didn’t have the power to ~gaze into the future~. But her forward thinking went far beyond predicting what she and her friends would get themselves into that week. She progressively tackled issues like body image, racism, and cultural identity, and opened all of our eyes to accepting ourselves and others regardless of their differences. Raven Baxter was such a boss and I honestly feel blessed to have been a kid at the same time That’s So Raven was airing.
6. Kim Possible
Another girl boss that challenged all the gender norms you’d expect of a superhero was Kim Possible. What’s her sitch? She was the fierce-ass leading lady whose male sidekick, Ron Stoppable, was clumsy and dorky without nearly as much power and suave as Kim. Instead of the boy being the one to constantly save the world, this show featured Kim battling villains and preventing catastrophes. It showed all of us that girls are just as (and sometimes even more) capable of kicking ass.
We for sure grew up in a time where pop culture taught us a lot of the right lessons. Don’t get me wrong, we had (and still have) a long way to go, but our generation’s open minds give me a glimmer of hope for a world that has seemed pretty messed up lately. So let’s listen to Bill Nye and get our sh*t together, okay?
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