Childrearing

My Daughter Is Obsessed With She-Ra, And I’m Fine With That

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Non-educational television has been taking a bit of a hit lately. It can hurt your child’s attention span and parent-child communication. But there’s one television show that we can’t quit in our house. I just don’t know what my daughter would do if she couldn’t watch She-Ra. Every evening after bath time, she wants to cuddle up with the Princess of Power and watch her take on the Horde.

She-Ra was an 80’s cartoon spin-off of He-Man. The main character is He-Man’s long-lost twin sister, Adora, who shares his super powers and changes into She-Ra to fight the forces of evil. To be honest, I don’t even remember a lot of the show from my childhood, though the outfits are hard to forget. I mean, He-Man wears a pink vest and purple Speedo. I didn’t remember all the bad guys in this show and I was a little nervous at how scary it might be for a three year old. But my daughter doesn’t seem to mind a bit. She cheers for the good guys and pretends that our black labs are Hordesmen. She sings She-Ra’s transformation song and uses random household objects as swords. She tells everyone friend of family member just how amazing She-Ra is. She’s just plain in love.

She-Ra might not seem like an educational show. They never mention counting or shapes. They don’t ask for your participation. But I think that there is more than one kind of education. This cartoon might not teach academics, but it has some very important lessons to communicate to young girls.

She-Ra is a female superhero, and it’s amazing how rare they are. Honestly, try to name more than two others. Wonder Woman… Hawk Girl, if you’re a die-hard Justice League fan… and… Maybe the bee thing from The Avengers. Even better than the mere existence of a female superhero, in She-Ra, no one is surprised that a girl can kick butt. There are no comments on how hard she must have worked to prove herself to all the men. Her male opponents don’t underestimate her because of her sex. And no man swoops in to save the day if she gets in over her head. She-Ra isn’t just a female superhero, she’s a hero who just happens to be a woman. It seems just as natural for her to be powerful and strong as it does for any other hero. That’s a strong example to set for a young girl, and it’s one that I’m happy to have to help with.

My daughter’s favorite show lets her see that a girl can be an amazing superhero and no one needs to be surprised by it. With so many cartoon characters for young children to cling to, I’m happy that my daughter has chose She-Ra. She doesn’t speak foreign languages or go on adventures that help her learn shapes and colors. She-Ra doesn’t have the popularity of a Disney princess and I probably won’t find a She-Ra backpack any time soon. But this cartoon has a strong and independent woman who kicks butt, defeats evil and never worries about finding the love of her life. It’s refreshing to see. And even if it is an 80s cartoon, it feels pretty modern to me.