When my daughter first started talking about Peppa Pig, I had no idea who—or what—she was referring to. As a streaming family, we don’t have cable. And since my daughter is only 4 years old, she doesn’t tend to watch anything I haven’t put on for her.
I blame preschool for bringing Peppa to her attention at all. Not because they're watching it there, but because she picks up a lot from her peers. Someone at her school must be Peppa obsessed for that bratty little pig to have found her way into our home.
Of course, the more she talked about this show she had never seen, the more curious I became about what she might be missing. So I take full responsibility for then making the mistake of actually seeking out episodes to stream.
If I had known then what I know now, I never would have taken that step. Because let’s be honest, Peppa Pig is pretty much the worst. For these reasons, and so many more:
1. The Snorting
Is there any sound more annoying than a cartoon pig incessantly snorting? Why yes, yes there is—the sound of a 4-year-old trying to repeatedly mimic that snort (and begging you to do the same) is SO much worse.
2. The Bossiness
I am ALL about encouraging leadership potential in little girls. But Peppa isn’t a future leader, she’s a future dictator—and so not the example of female empowerment I want my daughter to have.
3. The “Bad” Episodes
My little girl doesn’t get screen time without me being right beside her, but I do occasionally let her use the iPad to navigate that screen time herself. So imagine my surprise when one day she picked out what looked like a Peppa Pig episode, only it turned out to be some really poorly made imitation instead. I immediately shut it off and navigated to an actual episode for her. But days later, I learned that there are a lot of planted Peppa episodes on YouTube that aren’t actually Peppa at all, and are also nowhere near appropriate for children. So, great… one more thing to worry about anytime my kid wants to get her Peppa fix.
Thanks to Peppa, my kid now believes that every muddy puddle she comes across needs to be jumped in.
4. The Fat Shaming
The first time I heard Peppa make fun of Daddy Pig’s “big tummy,” I immediately cringed and turned to my daughter to say, “That’s not very nice.” Unfortunately, she was laughing hysterically. I am willing to admit that THAT was the moment I should have put an end to Peppa Pig.
Right then, I should've shut the show down and made it very clear Peppa would not be welcome in our house again. But my kid was so happy watching that little pig. So I ignored my initial instincts and tried to instead call out the meanness whenever I saw it. I figured I could turn the whole thing into a teaching moment. And I thought that was working, until my daughter ran up to a stranger one night and gleefully exclaimed, “You have a big tummy!” I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. And that was the first time I realized I truly loathe Peppa Pig.
5. The Obsession
My little girl has been exposed to plenty of movies and shows in the last few years, and she’s had a ton of obsessions, from "Frozen" to "Moana." But something about Peppa Pig really seems to have stuck for her. I don’t even completely know why—I don’t totally get the appeal myself. But she’s actually convinced herself she IS Peppa Pig. And she wants all the swag, from pajamas to coloring books. Her most recent imaginary friend also just so happens to be George—and he has been doing everything with us as of late.
6. The Muddy Puddles
Thanks to Peppa, my kid now believes that every muddy puddle she comes across needs to be jumped in. In truth, it doesn’t bother me that much. I can always get her clean clothes, and she gets so much joy out of splashing. But it’s springtime in Alaska right now, which means lots of snow melting and muddy puddles everywhere. By about the third change of clothes on any given day, I’m pretty much over it.
Hands down the worst thing about Peppa Pig is Peppa herself. That kid is a brat. She whines whenever she doesn’t get her way, she treats her friends like crap and she’s a pretty terrible big sister. So you can imagine how pleased I am that my daughter seems to be identifying so much with this character who behaves in ways I would never want my child to behave.
As far as I’m concerned, Peppa is on her last leg in our house. I keep waiting for the obsession to simply fade on it’s own (after all, my daughter eventually got over "Frozen"), but my patience is wearing thin. And we’re about one more “big tummy” joke away from a complete and total ban.
Which means I'm currently open to suggestions for shows that might inspire a similar obsession, without setting the same terrible example.