Sunday morning, my one-year-old slept in until 8am, so we’re killing it already. We decide to go out for breakfast because, as previously mentioned– killing it. I feed the tiny human some grapes in front of the idiot box pre car trip, The Wiggles are on. Before I had a baby I genuinely thought The Wiggles must be awesome and educational as ‘all the kids’ seem to love them. Then I went and had a baby and along with things like ‘I’ll never feed him sugar or McDonalds, and we’ll never watch In The Night Garden (ITNG) – that all changed.
Parenting is like communism, it looks good in theory and then bam, you’re pretty much just a parent in a sea of other parents taking orders from someone who can’t (or just chooses not to) wipe their own arse, and singing songs that you don’t really like. We often watch ITNG on the iPad while eating McNuggets and washing it all down with a Tiny Teddy, and yes we watch The Wiggles.
I have no problem with him watching them, he can wiggle his butt off if he wants to, but as a 36-year-old, tired-as-f*ck washer woman I do not like them. I get that it’s their gig and they like things like ballet, glasses, opera, pirates, bows, and pappadums, but can we mix it up a little? And I’m glad they have a girl Wiggle who plays the drums and drives the big red car, it’s like a G rated version of the women’s lib movement. So, back to our living room, the pappadum song was on. I liken my feelings for that song to the time I thought I had tape worms and had to Google tape worms. The song is just the word pappadum repeated 1054 times while the Wiggles bust some Bollywood dance moves, it’s all a little bit ridiculous but whatevs. I do find the part where one Wiggle simulates playing cricket (OMG, you so thought I was going to say something else there) a tad offensive, but I’m not going to start burning any skivvies and marching in the street yelling “down with Dorothy”. What I did do was post this on a mummy Facebook page - cue collective bat-sh!t crazy!
I thought my reference to pirate stereotypes sort of set the light-hearted tone, but I there are better ways to ‘do culture’ on kid’s TV. Technically this song and dance/costume is cultural appropriation.
Two hours pass and I get back from my coffee at a café with grown ups to find that the mummies had collectively lost their shiz. Some were with me, some thought I needed to get the f*ck down from my politically correct white privilege horse – but it sure did generate some discussion. Was I out of line? Was this cultural appropriation? Will Anthony find the nann bread?
Beyoncé and the whiney guy from Coldplay recently got torn a new one when they released the video for Hymn for the Weekend, and Katy Perry gets in trouble for it pretty much every time she puts out a new song - so we’re all aware it’s a thing right? As social media commenters we can go a little bit too Maude Flanders on PC issues, but should The Wiggles be dressing in traditional Indian dress, munching on pappadums while playing cricket? One Facebook commenter who was in the ‘get off your horse’ camp suggested the Scottish ditty sung in a kilt and red wig song would be offensive too. Offensive to my ears, yes – but no, I’m not going to boycott ABC Kids over the pappadum song. ABC Kids is the yin to my McNuggets yang, I love it and I’m glad my tax-payer dollars fund that big red car – pappadums or no pappadums.