'The Loud House': An Inclusive Animation
Inclusivity in a World of Brainfarts
The Loud House: An Inclusive Animation
Through the years, Nickelodeon has been through many incarnations of animations. In 2016, they released a show called The Loud House. The show's premise is focused on a young boy, Lincoln, who lives with his ten sisters and manages his life as the only boy. The episodes revolve around Lincoln learning valuable lessons about life and family, a set of values that is often expressed in Nickelodeon shows. However, The Loud House takes a little bit of a different approach. The show is more inclusive than any other animated show that I have seen on television in the last year.
The point that this is not a mere cartoon, but a feminist cartoon lies in the ten sisters. From day one you see that the sisters are vastly different in their personalities. Through these girls the show introduces a variety of women to the children who watch it. The personalities run from goth to comedian to stereotypical teenage girl and everything in between. The most important element of the Loud Family is that they accept these personalities as normal. All siblings are treated in equal measure. Their personalities are just who they are and the family encourages them. They do not try to suppress each other's identities. The children defend each other to the other characters who judge them as well. This family is loving and unconventional.
The show also provides representation of the LQBTQ+ community with a casualness that is lacking in other shows. In the show, Lincoln's best friend, Clyde, is the only child of two dads. The show does not make a showcase out of the family as other shows have done in the past. The dads are just parents trying to raise their son in the best way they see possible. They are parents first.
Throughout the course of the show there are various episodes that continue along the lines of family and acceptance of individuality. There is an episode that focuses on secret admirers that stands out in the LGBTQ+ representation. Luna, the rock star, music-loving sister only refers to her crush as Sam in this episodes. Based on the way the scenes are organized in the episode you would come to the conclusion that they are all crushing on boys. However, at the end, it is revealed that Sam is a teenage girl. Luna shows no signs of shame in her feelings. She does not show any inkling that this is not normal. She keeps her crush's identity shrouded in mystery from her siblings, but it is not shame. It is a fear that Sam will not return her feelings that creates Luna's secretiveness. Throughout the episodes, it is shown that the family believes love is love. Without ever seeing Luna's crush, they encourage her to follow her feelings no matter what.
The show also gives representation to people of color through Clyde and Ronnie-Anne. Two characters out of at least twenty is not a big ratio, but they do exist in the show. They are not put into the offensive stereotypes often found in different shows. Ronnie-Anne is of Mexican descent. It is not clear if her mother was born there or in America. While some of her family is brought into stereotypes, she is not. She is a rough and tough girl. She is not typecast as Lincoln's love interest although the families both try to play matchmaker with them. She is portrayed as Lincoln's friend and as her own individual person. Clyde is an African American boy who is the son of an interracial, gay couple. He is Lincoln's best friend. He is not defined by his skin color. He is defined, like the sisters, by his personality. He is just a boy trying to hang out with his friend and have adventures like most children. Like Ronnie-Anne, he is not typecast into a role. The show does not exploit their backgrounds for comedy. The characters' personalities do that themselves.
The Loud House gives a picture of more than just one type of person through all of its characters. The show creates an aura of acceptance. It lets the characters be diverse and still get along. The differences between the sisters, the differences between Lincoln and his friends all create the show's inclusive nature. The Loud House is a show worth watching.