Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Things that make me wonder (part 2)

I have a picture to show you of a young lady.

Lovely looking girl, isn't she? Her name is Cerrie Burnell, and she is a presenter on CBeebies, a channel run by the BBC aimed at under 8's. By all accounts, she is good, polite and does an excellent job. So why are some parents callign for her to be taken off the air and claiming they are scaring her kids?

Let's have a look at Cerrie again, shall we.

As you can see, she was born with only half of her right arm, and it is this that some viewers claim is scaring their children. In this article, we have the following lovely quote.

"Is it just me, or does anyone else think the new woman presenter on Cbeebies (Cerrie Burnell) may scare the kids because of her disability?

"I didn't want to let my children watch the filler bits on the bedtime hour last night because I know it would have played on my eldest daughter's mind and possibly caused sleep problems... and yes, this is a serious post."

I love it when our prejudices show through. Firstly, this is not the girl's fault - she was born with this disability, and it hasn't stopped her making a career and a life for herself. Secondly, this smacks of the "different is bad" mindset - better our children are shown this in a way that encourages them to accept than to hide from it.

Thirdly, however, it shows we haven't learnt anything in forty eight years, since the Thalidomide babies were born. We should never, ever judge on appearance, but on what the person does and says - and for that reason alone, I think this is knuckle headed thinking at the worst level.


Jeff said...

Unfortunately, this parent is passing these prejudices on to the child. Let's hope the kid grows out of them.

rrlane said...

You say you "love it" when prejudices become visible. I do to. It's not out of any sense of schadenfreude ("Hey, let's mock the bigots!") but because if you can see it you can combat it. Let's hope that because of the publicity this is getting the parents and kids who feel this way can be shown the error of their ways.

Radiodad said...

I read the article you linked to, and I was pleased to read that most posters came to the woman's defense. It's sad that some people still look at those who are different as bad.

Howard Bagby said...

My Grandpa only had one arm, as did one of his good friends. They did not scare any of the kids in our town. These people need to get over their own prejudices.