IMG_20201027_193333

Kids Entertainment: Paving way for Impropriety?

The world of cartoons takes us down the memory lane and on a magical trip into the unknown. Cartoons tend to bring about a sense of curiosity as well as happiness. Children start idealising certain characters and start worshipping them as their heroes. During the lock down, we must have allowed  the kids to binge watch cartoons,just like the endless number of series we watched to pass time.

Cartoons take children into an extraordinary dimension where their imagination can sometimes pave a path for creativity. Not only are they a means and an epitome of entertainment for the young, but they can also be the reason for many innovations. Dora the Explorer, Peppa Pig, Akbar and Birbal, Sesame Street, Dragon tales, Roll NO 21, The Jungle Book, Shaktiman: The Animated series and Doraemon are some of the many cartoons that teach children general knowledge and valuable lessons. Sadly, some of these cartoons are said to be a nuisance as they can build many unwanted ideas in a child’s mind which can give birth to bad habits. Bullying, teasing, unnecessary comments on someone’s outward appearance are the many negative highlights which many children perceive after binge watching cartoons.

Children are attracted greatly towards moving objects and sometimes end up blindly believing what they see on screen. They start idealising certain characters as they observe that he/she gains power, regardless of whether his/her deeds were virtuous or vicious. For example, when children see a character reigning by robbing and others, he would feel that those are the right things to do as they bring an increase in power. Also, when they see a character gaining authority by teasing other people, it makes the child believe that this is the right thing to do in reality. Children should be taught early on about the difference between right and wrong and to also be made aware of the fact that some of the shows they watch on TV are purely figments of the writer’s imagination. Cartoons like Chota Bheem and Motu & Patlu, are favourited among the Indian diaspora,which can be perceived by many children in the wrong way.

Though cartoons today are being used in many ways to portray and mock the ills present in society in a comical manner. The comic strips we see in newspapers have adorable cartoons in them which sometimes mock people or certain scenarios which are apparently ‘the elephant in the room.’

Even adult cartoons also known as adult animation like The Simpsons, Archer, Disenchantment and Futurama etc. really make one’s day after a hectic schedule. But, sometimes show illicit content which can hurt the sentiments of a certain section in society or end up highlighting the taboos in the society to throw light on that topic which is being ignored by us.

Body Positivity is a very important issue which till date is only surfacing in society. TV shows and cartoons can sometimes showcase many scenarios in the wrong manner, like disabilities or even body insecurities.

Many comic shows or Comedians go out of their way and try to mock the society by highlighting scenarios in a jocular manner which can have unpleasant consequences on people and can create sensitive issues in society. Cartoons do try to showcase humour by pinpointing and making a mockery of the frail and disabled, such ideas can make way into a child’s mind and can create a home. The child would end up teasing and bullying people in real life who face similar issues or will themselves feel insecure when he/she is exposed to similar scenarios in real life. Cartoons can end up showcasing false theories to be true which can hamper a child’s understanding and knowledge.

Disney channel has been an attractive wonderland showcasing some of the cheesiest and sassiest shows which attract millions of teenage girls. But certain girls who are insecure about their body or are struggling with body positivity can feel embarrassed or will try to embrace the wrong notion of beauty shown on the screen which is illogical. They can slowly end up being victims of various eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia which would hamper their holistic growth. The belief that women should be fair-skinned, slim and trim and should have long straight hair has still not left the media or our society completely.

Parents sometimes are unable to maneuverer what their child is watching on TV. These days there are many options on YouTube which can be used to check the content the child is watching.

It takes a lot of time for one to overcome their insecurities. Just a single comment or mocking and laughing on someone else’s insecurities can be brutal and can have a bad effect on the person’s mind. Even though a person’s intention might not be dreadful, they unknowingly can create self-doubt within a person’s mind by creating false beliefs which then grow into diffidence.