I shouldn’t be shocked, nor should I make a big deal about it. But I am. For those that missed this, too, here’s your PSA: Bluey is a girl!
Bluey – the Blue Heeler that has become a familiar face in Aussie households. It’s on in the background in my household all the time. Imagine my surprise when I realised I heard Bluey’s dad referring to her as a “her”.
I understand that we’ve come to a point in our lives where Bluey being a girl is not groundbreaking information. You’re probably thinking that this doesn’t even need to be a big deal. But it does, because it is a big deal. It’s a big deal because in my assumption that Bluey is a boy, I subconsciously sent female’s back a century. I revived stereotypes that I thought were dead and gone. For this moment in time, unbeknownst to myself, I was a sexist.
Bluey is blue
This is such an outdated stereotype that I’m embarrassed to even discuss it, but here we are. Bluey is blue, just like her dad. Bingo, Bluey’s little sister, is a light-brown coloured dog, like their mother. I assumed that the show went with this simple colour-scheme to mark the boys as blue and the girls as light-brown.
Bluey, however, is not a simple show. It is almost insulting to the creators to think they’d need “boy colours” to identify boys from girls. Just like in real-life, daughters may inherit more traits from their fathers than their mothers. And just like in real-life, siblings may look nothing alike.
I didn’t even notice the gears in my mind, as they rotated to steer me towards the belief that Bluey is a boy. I buy my sons pink clothes and dolls, for goodness sake. Why on Earth did I jump to this conclusion?
The “picture perfect” family
I’m always getting my nickers in a knot over society’s image that a “perfect” family includes a mum, a dad, a son and a daughter. I often discuss this with fellow “Boy Mums“, as we are often on the receiving end of judgey comments that imply our family is incomplete, due to our unbalanced male-to-female ratio.
When I saw Bluey’s family, though, I saw a mum, a dad, a son and a daughter. Heaven forbid a fictional family should reflect anything that strays from the cookie-cutter family we’ve all come to expect.
Growing up in a household consisting of my mum, my sister and myself, I’m dealing with so much internal frustration over this stuff-up. I didn’t grow up with the Mum/Dad/Brother/Sister configuration, but I’m somehow on autopilot assuming that other families are.
Bluey: the main character and a girl
I binge-watch so many television shows with strong female-leads. I still missed the mark on this one. Maybe my expectations are different for kids’ shows. Having grown up watching Banana Man, Captain Planet and Alvin and the Chipmunks, have I been indoctrinated to automatically expect the hero-figure in kids’ shows to be male?
Bluey is the hero our kids need, regardless of our kids’ genders. She’s the Moana and Elsa of Aussie television. Maybe it’s a good thing I assumed Bluey was a boy and was gobsmacked to discover otherwise. The whole ordeal made me question my own stereotypes and defeat my own lurking prejudices.
It did make me realise one huge universal truth, though: Girls rule!
Living under a rock? Catch up on Bluey here.