Jul 4, 2010

Caillou, that bald 5 year old!

My 2½ year old is OBSESSED with Caillou and don't get me wrong, I like the show too!  She carries around her little Caillou doll and story book everywhere! (And I mean everywhere.)  She has actually been begging me to get her a Caillou DVD but I can't seem to find a decent priced one, haha. But I digress...  My 4½ year old asked me tonight the apparently very  popular question, "Mommy, why is Caillou bald if he is 5 years old."  I've been wondering it for a while, but never really cared too much to find out.  I'd usually forget about the question soon after I thought of it.  Tonight, since Alayna asked, I decided to do a google search.  I was surprised to see just how many people wondered the same thing and actually asked about it on many different sites!!  Of course, many sites were just people bashing on the poor bald 4 year old, but I actually found a pretty good answer from this site. (Which actually covers a few questions about Caillou.) As well as answers the question, why is Caillou bald. This is the answer the publishing company gives:

Caillou stands for all children. He doesn't have curly blond hair, a carrot-top, brown hair, glasses, or ethnic features, because he represents all children. We wanted to make Caillou universal so every child could identify with him. And they do! Caillou's baldness may make him different, but we hope it's helping children understand that being different isn't just okay, it's normal.

I think that is a great answer and think it's a great concept as well. There are many kids who are different in many ways.  Appearance wise, we may be black, white, aisan or hispanic.  Some kids might have blonde hair, black hair, brown hair or red hair.  Eye color is different.  There may be tall kids, short kids, chubby kids, skinny kids and so on.  It's great for children to have a positive role model teaching them that being different is OK and it's what makes us an individual.  Especially in a world where kids grow up to be very critical teens who may bully or gang up on someone who is different, it's very imperative that kids learn at a young age that no one is the same as another.  Hell, I was made fun of growing up for being the chubby, geeky kid with glasses and not so hip clothes.  I wouldn't want my kids growing up being bullied or being the one who bullies others.  

Caillou also has many different friends, an African American friend, an Indian friend (what's the correct terminology for that?)  A hispanic friend, an Asian friend...  Caillou is open to having friends from every race and ethnicity.  Again, a very positive message to children.  I grew up in a very racist family and I remember having many fights with my family about those who were different.  I'm a very open minded individual and never believed in racism, as they did.  (To show you how racist they were, I dated a hispanic/italian guy in High School and one day when he came to my house with flowers and I wasn't home, they chased him away and threatened him to never come back to my home... Which ruined that relationship and hurt me very badly.)  I want to raise my girls with an open mind to be accepting to everyone, and that's just what I am doing.  Caillou helps a lot.  

So that little bald headed 5 year old, as odd as it may seem, actually is a great message to all children.  Parents seem to have a very varying opinion of him and the show itself, but mine is a very positive one. 

What do you and your children think of Caillou?