My son is currently obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake and the Beast of Berry Bog on Netflix. It’s a Halloween special for the series, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City. The series itself actually had an episode, “Berry Bounty Banquet — Part 2”, nominated for Outstanding Children’s Programming by GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The special is really cute and includes a boy named Bread Pudding wearing a dress and pearl necklace for his costume which was a great opportunity to have a heart felt conversation with my son.
As Netflix recommends other shows for us to watch I am reminded of the “Two White Girl Rule”. The rule is if there is a group of girls that aren’t all White, then at least two of them must be. Of course their hair color must be different and this must imply they are nothing alike and deserving of their own individual in-depth stories. The rule also requires that if only one non-White girl is involved she must be either ambiguous as hell or her physical features along with a one-off sentence must be the only way to assume anything about her cultural background.
Netflix’s recommendations along with animated shows from my childhood are products of “the Two White Girl Rule” which itself is a product of White Supremacy. It creates imaginary scarcity and pits people who are not White against each other for these usually stereotype-filled roles that often refuse to allow people to exist outside of several binaries. It also almost always doubles down on the big ass racial umbrellas, never giving any depth to the culture, values or traditions of girls featured that are not White because what else is there to know about them other than their skin color and/or eye shape?
To be clear this is a rule I made up but have seen it followed so many times. This is also the issue with agreeing with BIPOC or POC lumping, it breathes life into these rules and beliefs that this is enough and what we deserve. It’s not and we deserve more than to be some prop behind two White girls.
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