The Overbearing '90s Kid: Your Child Media No Longer Caters to You

A pattern has started, I’ve noticed, in recent years. It tends to start with a company announcing a reboot or a continuation of a beloved franchise, and then it ends with countless viral tweets condemning any adolescent from enjoying it.

The strange thing about this, is that the people condemning children tend to be twice their age or more.

Now, the easiest example I can give are movies like “Incredibles 2” or the brand new, still-in-production live action “Kim Possible.” Those aren’t the only ones and truly, the content does not matter. As long as the form of entertainment was once beloved by people who fall into the ‘90’s kids’ age bracket, you will be able to find someone trying to keep kids away from it. Often this happens by using tasteless language or making jokes. And I’m not here to stop people from making silly jokes, because they can be funny and even I am guilty of interacting with a few.

The problem I have, is that this particular, cartoon-centric form of gatekeeping can do much more harm than people might think. When kids are young, they tend to get attached to characters and objects. Once those things are rekindled after having spent so many years apart, it makes sense to be protective of them.

When word of their costume design came out for Disney’s live-action “Kim Possible” movie, people were severely disappointed. I scrolled down my feed for five minutes a few weeks ago and I saw a poor teenager being bullied for playing the role of Kim Possible.

In an Uproxx article, several tweets are listed showing how badly some people took the news. One person tweeted, “KIM POSSIBLE IS A BAD BITCH THIS IS NOT A BAD BITCH,” while another said, “this looks like a pic of a Kim Possible costume being sold on walmart lmao.”

Reactions like these are the problem, because ‘90’s kids’ are no longer kids, which means companies are no longer catering to us. A young actress should not have her appearance ripped to shreds because her outfit does not look exactly how an adult remembers it. It’s rude and quite honestly, immature.

Think of all the tweens that are going to watch that movie and have an absolute blast. ‘90’s kids’ grew up. It happened, it’s done. But children still exist. The content today that is being made for adolescents, caters to the ones who are adolescent now. Seriously, learn to share!

I enjoy children’s movies. And cartoons and even children’s literature. They are all stories filled with hope and humor and fun. This type of entertainment is not for children-only, but it is made with children in mind, and it hurts to watch people my age act so foolishly over it. When I was young, I often heard a similar sentiment run between all of my peers. It was the idea that we would not treat younger people the same way adults would treat us.

This barricade that the ‘90’s kids’ are starting to create, this automatic frustration directed towards children when they find interest in the same things we used to, this gatekeeping is doing exactly that. It’s treating younger people as if they are naive or undeserving, as if they aren’t good enough to find joy in something that still gives us joy.

Things change. It happens. Franchises continue, shows reboot and remakes can differ from their originals. Just because it is happening in a different time, with different people, doesn’t mean that it is automatically garbage. And it definitely doesn’t mean you can metaphorically rip a Pooh Bear doll (one which represents your childhood and happy memories) out of the hands of a child who has yet to make those memories and then laugh in their face.

Think about how happy you were watching “High School Musical” for the first time. That’s the kind of fun they’re going to have, and you want to make fun of that? Take a teaching class or watch some Sesame Street, I don’t know. Anything that will help all of you get your compassion back and make you realize that new children’s movies cater to their current audience, not an audience from a decade ago.

Okay, I’m done for now. Put your notes away class, it’s time for recess.

xoxo,

a fellow 90’s kid