Week 4: What Cartoons Did I Watch Growing Up?

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Note: Wow! I forgot to hit “publish” and it’s been such a week that I only just noticed. Sorry for the delay!

I could go on and on about the various cartoons I watched growing up – Ren and Stimpy (Powdered Toast Man, anyone?), Aah! Real Monsters! (I was always a fan of Oblina), Beavis and Butthead (heh), and so much more. When it really comes down to it, there was one main TV show we watched in my family that stuck with us through the years and made a real impact on us all – The Simpsons.

I feel like my family is not unique in this regard. The thing that made this show so fantastic was the relatability of the characters (yeah, I’m pretty sure I just made up that word). But let’s leave the rest of my family out of this. More than anything else, I related to Lisa – just as I was supposed to.

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Lisa was the first character I was exposed to who showed me it was okay to be intellectual and a girl at the same time – and a young girl, to boot! I always loved reading and she made it okay. I was a (relatively) good student and there was nothing wrong with that. I didn’t have a ton of friends, but Lisa didn’t need them either.

By no means did I try to emulate her (I never once considered taking up the saxophone, for instance), but her character gave me a confidence in myself that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn elsewhere. This isn’t to say I was a super confident person growing up, in fact I was very self-conscious and had diminished self-confidence for many years, but this was the first time I felt I was shown that young girls have power, too. Our age doesn’t matter if we are dedicated and determined enough to make a difference.

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On top of this, I always loved how Lisa was an activist. When she learned of social inequalities (or understood where meat came from), she made a conscious decision based on her knowledge and morals and stuck with it. Rarely do people (or even characters) adhere so strongly to their decisions as Lisa has in this show.

Lisa Simpson taught me to be myself and to remain optimistic about my life as well as the potential for the world as a whole. So when I think about what cartoons I watched as a child, the only one that really stands out is The Simpsons.

[youtube http://youtu.be/PSAOXkf0-oU]
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Comments

  1. Ahhh, I totally identified with Lisa too! Vegetarian, and I actually did pick up the saxophone when I was 10! I always got angry as a child that adults didn’t agree on the things I found important. I 100% agree about the activist thing, she is a great example to little girls. I was also a she-ra fan as a child 🙂

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  1. […] Week 4: What Cartoons Did I Watch Growing Up? – The Simpsons, of course, especially good old Lisa. […]

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