Editors Note: This post has been amended to reflect this episode of The Winx Club never aired on the Nickelodeon network in the U.S. The character featured in the clip is not the reoccurring character, Aisha.
In today’s installment of the never-ending series “mainstream media insults natural hair,” I present The Winx Club. In season 1 episode 12 of the Italian fantasy/action cartoon a black female character laments over the disaster of her hair going from straight and silky into an afro:
One character calls the afro “a catastrophe”, while the blonde princess Stella gasps in shock and horror asking, “what’s that?” the black character was already crying, and the responses from her friends sent her in to full-blown meltdown mode.
Even when watching cartoons, our little girls can’t catch a break.
The storyline was later re-dubbed (beginning at 7:55):
Instead of her hair being the problem, the character cast the wrong voice changing spell. Wouldn’t it have made much more sense to just do that from the very beginning?
Although this episode is not new, (it originally aired overseas in 2004, and in 2010 in the United States), old Winx Club episodes are still airing on Nickelodeon television and streaming online. This recycling of content has led to a new wave of naturalistas being made aware of yet another attempt to impress upon little Black girls that their natural beauty is a “catastrophe”.
I’m not even going to ask what the creatives behind the show were thinking, because I already know. It’s a pretty clear-cut case of racism and ignorance and the advent of the internet and social media makes it difficult to completely scrub.
Let’s continue to make sure that our little girls have the resources and support to embrace their natural selves and resist the standard of beauty that society and popular media continues to try and impress upon them.
Are you familiar with The Winx Club cartoon? What are your thoughts on the storyline changes? Have you noticed any other cartoons that did something similar? Share below.