Disney’s The Weekenders has two female leads, one of whom, Lor, is a somewhat androgynous girl who likes French fries and sports. Lor dresses in jerseys and baggy clothes, challenging the gender norms with regards to clothing. Her interests are traditionally masculine and she isn’t concerned with her weight or appearing female. Lor challenges the gender binary in these ways.
The other, Tish, is a young woman who exceeds academically and has an interest in theatre. While she tends to fall into the nerd stereotype, it’s refreshing to see a confident and intelligent girl playing a lead role in a children’s cartoon. The fact that Tish also has artistic interests sets her apart from many of the other cartoon nerds and makes her unique. Tish is confident and comfortable in her own skin, rare for many girls her age, but serves as a good role model.
In the supporting cast we have Miss Tonitini, a perceptive single mother who likes to experiment with health food and celebrates the winter solstice as an alternative to Christmas. Miss Tonitini is seen almost every episode advising her son about the gang’s problem of the week. She is shown to be wise and supportive, with a strong relationship with her only son. Miss Tonitini represents single mothers in an overwhelmingly positive light.
The Weekenders gave the girls of my generation a strong female role models that broke the mold and showed us that there are different ways to be a woman.
Disclaimer: I have not watched this show in roughly 9 years, I did pretty much zero research on this piece so I’m working purely from memory. If I got something wrong feel free to correct it. If someone with greater knowledge of the show wants to explore these themes in greater detail, I’d love to read it. This is an edited piece from a paper I did on Disney.
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