The Mean Streets of Sesame

At first blush, it seems like one of those stories that makes people wax hysterical about that old boogey-man “Political Correctness.” From the Philadelphia Inkwaster…

[Philadelphia Inquirer] The gang at Sesame thought it would be a sunny day, and everything would be A-OK when they introduced Abby this month, complete with her poofy, sparkly pigtails, fluttery lavender wings, a magic wand, and a pretty chiffon frock.

But before any of them could spell Aloysius Snuffleupagus, the criticism began…

…Susan Linn, cofounder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, calls Abby’s introduction a blatant attempt to compete with the gigantic Disney princess market.

“The last thing little girls need is one more pink fairy,” she says. “My understanding is that she’s a little incompetent with her magic, too. I’m concerned that now even the Sesame Workshop has bought into the girly, girly commercialized image of what it is to be feminine…

OK, apart from the people who are worried about Abby’s magic being a portrayal of witchcraft, some of these people have a point. It does smack of the Disney Princess syndrome. We’ve got enough girl characters in pink, frilly dresses demonstrating a sort of “oopsie” incompetence. I think the anti-Abby lobby has a valid point.

For my money, I would have much rather seen the next Sesame Street character be based on this little lady.