Peppa Pig as a Gangster? No.

What my little cousin has binged watched on T.V. became a hit on Chinese social media during the entire year of 2018. From children's favorite piggy to young people's enthusiastic pursuit, from memes and dialect videos to popular culture's "social man" IP, it is trend is rapidly expanding. In the moment, I was like, what? I went to check it out and the hashtag #PeppaPig had already occupied every corner of social media. A pink pig has become the first topic of nationwide network platforms and captured everyone’s attention so rapidly. When toddlers giggle at Peppa Pig on the screen, teenagers in China see her as a dope sign. So what happened? It is Peppa Pig, the main character from a British preschool animated television series. “Peppa Pig” had been on air in China for only three years but it has now arisen as one of the most lucrative animations and businesses in history. She looks like she has a hair dryer for a head; she is fairly adorable to children and adopts some features of human beings. Peppa is the protagonist in every episode and she acts so freely and widely, unlike traditional avatars in other educational cartoons. She doesn’t wear her seatbelt, she doesn’t act like an obedient and innocent kid when she meets new things — she is not always a perfect girl to everyone around her.

It could be seen as related to Chinese social values when Peppa Pig represents joy, positive energy, and upbeat atmosphere. However, people have started to make memes with her character in the show, adding lines such as “social” and “thug,” and picturing her with a gold chain, sunglasses, and dollar bills. More than this, companies out there have witnessed the heat of Peppa Pig and turned to put her image on their products. The merchandise includes temporary tattoos, stickers, watches, and anything that could be advertised with the little pig. And they have benefitted from spreading the image of Peppa Pig as there will be a Peppa Pig movie of Lunar New Year edition releasing in China next month.

Peppa Pig is specifically associated with the term "social person," which refers to a social group that looks fierce and cool, speaks profanity, or even tells vulgar jokes in spoof videos. Therefore, it has been blocked by China's online video channels after being associated with the subculture of gangsters. The concern about the craze of Peppa Pig products and the following of this street icon is that it will have a negative impact on the younger generation in China.

What else could we acquire from these distortions of a lovely cartoon character? It is intended to instruct our children, our siblings, and introduce our reflections of good social behavior. We hope we could inspire our kids and lead them on the right track to learning about moral values, not bombarding them with our senseless obscenity. So my peers, just say no. Say no when you see a cute little pig holding guns in her hands. Say no when you scroll down the page and show your sisters or brothers about an evil Peppa Pig. Say no, Peppa Pig is not gangster culture.