'Peppa Pig' Introduces Penny Polar Bear, a Classmate Who Has Two Moms

When Penny draws a picture of her family, it includes two moms. Penny also announces she loves spaghetti. The kids—er, animals—are alright.

Wooden figures of Peppa Pig characters
Photo: Getty

A 2019 petition "Demand a same-sex parent family on Peppa Pig" has finally come to fruition, as this week in Britain the episode "Families" aired the first "two Mummy" household on Peppa Pig. This is a first for the popular children's TV show that for over 18 years, 6 series and 250 episodes has largely centered around Peppa Pig's four-person, heteronormative family.

In "Families," Peppa and her friends are drawing pictures together at a playgroup, and as they draw they learn about each other's families. There is Suzy Sheep and Freddy Fox, but all the attention this week is going straight to Penny Polar Bear.

Penny Polar Bear draws a picture of her cute polar bear family sitting around the kitchen table slurping spaghetti into their mouths. Penny Polar Bear says, "I'm Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mommy and my other mommy. One mommy is a doctor and one mommy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti." Slurp.

While some folks online have manufactured outrage on what they claim is wokeness coming for preschoolers, others recognize this episode for what it is: a tiny slice of representation and inclusion—coming a little late to the game—to match the lived experience for hundreds of thousands of children across both Britain and the U.S. who live in similar households.

The 2019 petition that had garnered over 23,000 signatures stated, "Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal. This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance."

These children are not alone. In 2020, the U.S. census estimated that 292,000 children had parents living with a same-sex partner or spouse, similar to numbers across the U.K. which have been rapidly rising ever since same-sex marriages became legal in 2014. These children deserve to see themselves and their families represented as healthy, normal, and loving. These children deserve for all other children to see this as well, not only to prevent bullying and intimidation, but to grow healthy and vibrant communities.

Sesame Street aired "Family Day" in 2021, introducing two gay dads, the characters of Dave and Frank, to the series. In the words of Frank, "There's all kinds of different families. But what makes us a family is that we love each other."

It's important and meaningful that the world of Peppa Pig finally has two mommies that love to slurp spaghetti with their little polar bear at dinnertime. Slurp.

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