Peppa Pig has taken over my life and I hate it.

She appears in my dreams where my 2-year-old son has a Brit accent and he goes around the house saying, “Dinosaur, grrrrr.”

I might probably get hate messages for this but Peppa Pig is a terrible cartoon character who is sexist, self-obsessed, fat-shames people, and cannot deal with losing.

Yet somehow, Peppa Pig is one of the most celebrated, popular British preschool animated series. The premise is overtly simple and focuses on a family of piggies with Daddy, Mommy, Grandma, Grandpa Pig, and the two children – Peppa and George. The series first aired in 2004 and the most recent episode aired this year in February. It’s been broadcast in 180 territories and is also currently on Netflix and other platforms. 

Peppa Pig is teaching our kids all the wrong values.

Having watched the cartoon so religiously, my son and few of his friends have picked up the accent, but that’s obviously not the worst part. The other day, my son refused to eat his veggies and even said “Yuk”, just like the piggies do in the cartoon. What sort of behavior is that? He also picked up how to foot-stamp as Peppa does. I’m glad he hasn’t begun saying, “It’s not fair.” The constant puddle jumping shown in the show has a big disadvantage to it as well.

Two pink cartoon pigs jumping in the mud.
[Image description: Two pink cartoon pigs jumping in the mud.] Via YouTube
Moreover, Peppa Pig is a huge spoilsport. She cannot take it if her friends, Suzie Sheep or Rebecca Rabbit, are winning a game. She immediately declares the game silly or unfair and refuses to play along. When Suzie and Peppa are on a call discussing whistling, Suzzie shows Peppa how to whistle and Peppa hangs up immediately because she is unable to digest the fact that her friend could whistle and she couldn’t. She cannot show happiness for friends who do better than her. This is such poor behavior. Peppa instead shows her happiness when her friends are unable to achieve something.

Spiteful, jealous, and rude – that’s what Peppa Pig is about. How are kids supposed to learn about winning and losing from this cartoon?

Spiteful, jealous, and rude – that’s what Peppa Pig is about.

Body shaming is also considered funny in the show, and I will lose it the day my son calls me, or anyone for that matter, fat. Peppa is constantly telling her father that he has a big tummy. She calls him silly and makes fun of his big belly, telling him he cannot fit into a treehouse or can’t dive into a pool without splashing water. Well, this has a strong impact on kids and they soon pick up these lines and start using them on their friends and in school. We can’t tolerate any sort of body shaming comments against anyone.

The other massive problem with the cartoon is gender inequality.

Why does Daddy Pig insist on having a white shirt and that the pink shirt is for girls? At a time when we are trying so hard to remove gender stereotypes from society, here’s a cartoon that plants the seeds early.

There’s a scene where the narrator says, “Mummy Pig’s dressed as a fireman.” Can’t women have the choice to be firefighters? This scene even had the London Fire Brigade respond, tweeting:

Peppa is also a little bit of a snob and is rude to her brother. She asks her brother to stay away from the treehouse because only girls can enter. She is ashamed to take George to her playschool and is hard on him while playing games.

There are so many different things that are fundamentally wrong with Peppa Pig that several doctors have insisted that their children not follow the show. According to parenting expert, Dr. Karen Phillip, “Kids are losing the capability of developing skills in empathy and reading other people’s body language because they’re so not in tune with it anymore.” She credits non-educational TV as a culprit. 

You as a parent live in the real world and know better.

While the makers of Peppa Pig are multi-millionaires and have made a mark for themselves across the globe, parents need to take into consideration if Peppa is a good influence on their children. She, however, has been banned in China where the cheeky piggy has taken on a sinister alternative meaning and was featured in several gang-related rap videos and tattoos. It has also been reported that Peppa Pig has been seen as a symbol of rebellion and her videos were often circulated on the Chinese video-sharing site Douyin.

While the animated piggies laugh for all the jokes (whether funny or not), live an impractical life, and are happy, you as a parent live in the real world and know better. Don’t let those piggies fool you!

  • Mrinalini Sundar

    Mrinalini Sundar is a lifestyle journalist with eight years of experience and has worked with renowned publications like Times Of India and The New Indian Express. She is currently freelancing for South Asian Magazines in Toronto and is a digital marketing professional. Mrinalini is a big movie buff and has interviewed the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Irrfan Khan and AR Rahman.