Last month, we saw that Zoe’s favorite TV show, Yo Gabba Gabba (warning, the page is a little, um, flashy) was having an episode where one of the main characters gets glasses. I was excited to watch the show with Zoe and see how she reacted to a familiar character getting glasses. She happily pointed out the glasses, but I ended up disappointed. The show was all about differences, which was fine, and had the character Muno finding out he needed glasses to see well, he was excited about them, until his friends said he looked strange. Then they talked about how you need to be nice to your friends. Zoe’s still young enough that none of the kids at daycare would tease her about her glasses, though I know she’ll get it soon enough, so it wasn’t really what I was hoping for. But that’s not what bothered me the most. The worst was that the very next episode — no more glasses for Muno! I know it’s just a kid’s show, but that really bugs me, why can’t they have that character wear glasses in future episodes? What does it say to kids who wear glasses to see a character wear glasses – because he can’t see well – and then have that character never have to wear glasses again. Not the best thing if you’re trying to convince your kid that they’ll need to wear glasses everyday.
I guess I just want a show to have a young character with glasses that become part of their normal day to day life. I wouldn’t mind having an episode that talks about why you wear glasses, or how to deal with the teasing, but mostly, I just want to see glasses portrayed as normal – since that’s what they are for our kids – normal. I know they must be out there…
Motherhood and potatoes wrote about a recent episode of the TV show “Sid the Science Kid” about glasses and vision. The show is pitched at preschoolers, which is still a little above Zoe’s level, but not too far. The episode is Grandma’s Glasses, in which Sid tries on Grandma’s glasses, but they make everything look blurry. He then learns about vision and how glasses can help some people see clearly, even if they make the world look blurry to others. Even better, I checked out the website for Sid the Science Kid and saw that at least one of the kids on the show, May, wears glasses, though I don’t know how often her character appears.
GeorgeB also wrote in to say that their latest and greatest find is the Little Einsteins. One of the main characters, Leo, wears the very obvious glasses with the big moon eyes. It is rewarding on many levels (educational, good tv) but by far and away, positive in that it depicts a child in glasses without highlighting the glasses. Leo just is..doing his thing in his favorite rocket ship. A passive, yet very positive affirmation.
What other characters with glasses have you all found? Or, have you run into other disappointing story lines about glasses?
I think that I’ve seen May from Sid the Science Kid in many episodes. (I’ll try to pay a bit more attention as I usually have it on as background noise.)
Often, whenever I watch children’s shows whether they are cartoons or Sesame Street, I always find myself looking for characters who wear glasses.
There is also Arthur. The main character wears glasses. And one of the kids on Lazytown wears glasses. I think also there is a kid with glasses on Pinkydinkydoo.
I know those shows are a bit old for Zoe, but Sam watches some of them and he is only 3.
I just realized I put my actual name. I’m Samsmama.
We are always on the look out for kids, books and shows with glasses on the characters. Elmo’s World occassionally shows kids with glasses, Arthur is a fave, also Superwhy has a pig that wears glasses and the main character changes into a disguise with a mask over his eyes that we call glasses, Sid the Science Kid does have the character with glasses on quite a bit…these are all our morning shows on PBS so we’ve seen them all during the morning hours.
Simon from Alvin and the chipmunks also wears glasses.
I recently saw my first episode of Sid the Science Kid, and it was the one with Grandma’s Glasses. It was cute, and a simple, but age appropriate, explanation of why some people wear glasses.
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You obviously didn’t watch the whole episode (or not close enough). He liked his new glasses but they kept falling off his oddly shaped head (he is a cyclops after all) & were lopsided the whole time, so “Doctor” Plex gave him a contact lens to try.
The episode was indeed entitled “Differences” so thats what it was about (how its OK to be different). You should watch it again. Its a brilliant episode & done very well. One of their best in my opinion.
You are right, when I wrote this, I had not have seen the ending of the episode, but I have watched it all the way through multiple times now (you can read my update about that here). The episode is one of my favorites, save for the ending with the contacts (and believe me, I’ve watched a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba – Zoe is a huge fan). The video and song “Glasses” by I’Kona is brilliant, and I do keep watch to see if that will ever be posted, because I would love to share it with others here.
But as I said, it’s still disappointing to see a beloved character get glasses one episode, and before that episode is over, get contacts, and essentially never have it mentioned again. I don’t think it’s the job of any tv show or book series to provide characters like our children, but I stand by what I wrote:
I’ll emphasize the part about glasses being portrayed as normal. It would be nice to have a series where glasses aren’t the focus for a character – aren’t called out for being different, rather that are just something that’s completely normal.
Agreed Ann, 100 per cent!!
On another note though Ann, I notice you say Zoe doesn’t get teased yet as she is too young but she will, you know what? I don’t think she will 🙂 Having older kids at school, I see a LOT of kids in glasses and having spoken to their mums it really isn’t an issue for the kids at all! In fact, the other kids want glasses becasue they are COOL! Plus the glasses these days are more of a fashion statement and so gorgeous and ZOE looks fab in them. So rest assured I think Zoe will only get positive comments as she is a beautiful girl in gorgeous glasses….honestly 🙂
Thanks Ingrid! I hope you’re right. I do know that I also see many kids in glasses just a bit older than Zoe. I’m hoping that since she’s pretty much always been in glasses, she’ll be more confident with them.
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