Thursday, August 13, 2015

More outdated children's shows observations: Daniel Tiger wears no pants!

On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood the eponymous lead character is an anthropomorphic tiger living in a Mr. Rogers-inspired town with other anthropomorphic animals—Katarina Kittycat, O the Owl—and with human characters. The stories give lessons with little songs about topics like compromise and dealing with frustration. As previously noted, Our son finds it enjoyable.

One of Daniel's friends is Miss Elena, who it's shown has mixed race parents. So the show seems progressive in ways like that.

However, there is something that I notice that seems less congruous with that sort of theme. Now, I concede analysis of a show with such a clear distance from verisimilitude is utterly futile, but if nothing else we live in the era of utterly futile analysis so here goes:

Daniel generally wears a red hooded sweatshirt. And that's it. In the tradition of Donald Duck he has clothing only on top, with no pants. While at first glance that isn't a big deal; he's a tiger so it isn't necessarily required he have pants. His father (Mr. Tiger) doesn't wear pants either, even when going to his job at the clock factory. Another male animal character, O the Owl, wears no clothing (but is covered in feathers). The humans wear clothing that replicates what people wear in real life (shirts, pants, shoes, etc.)

Okay. The people wear what people wear. The animals wear either tops or nothing.

Except when looking at the female animal characters—Daniel's mother and Katarina Kittycat—we notice they do have something on their lower halves: his mother, a doctor, wears what look like medical scrubs; Katarina is in a skirt or tutu. The implication becomes obvious: Boy animals can run around with their bottom halves hanging out, but girl animals need to keep that stuff covered at all times.

Now, there are times when Daniel does don something on his lower half. For example, when going to bed he puts on pajamas with a top and bottoms. So apparently he needs cover when sleeping. Uh, alright.

It gets murkier when he goes to the beach he puts on swimming trunks, suggesting that when swimming he needs to keep his "bathing suit area" covered by a bathing suit.

So apparently he cannot be completely naked at any time and the same parts that humans need to cover when swimming require covering when he does it... but because he's a male animal those same part do not have the same restriction when at school or just out around town. However, were he a female animal the same rule wouldn't apply.

One would think that being tired (as any parent of an infant or toddler… or really any child younger than adolescence) would keep my brain from having the capacity to notice anything—and that was the case at first—but repeated viewings have had the unwitting effect of giving me enough experience that my mind cannot help but kick in.

I wish Daniel and his friends had a song about dealing with that.

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So, what do you think?