Families tuning into Bluey’s latest episode were left horrified at one particular scene, with many dubbing it fat shaming.
The latest episode depicts husband-and-wife Bandit and Chilli weighing themselves on bathroom scales, in which Bandit sighs, “Aw man”, before touching the excess skin on his stomach.
This then becomes the catalyst for Bandit to realise he needs to do more exercise, as he rallies the entire family to workout in the backyard together. The episode is titled ‘Exercise’.
Many parents left horrified
Many parents turned to Bluey’s official Twitter and Facebook pages to share their not so subtle opinions.
“Watching Bandit stand on the scale and squeeze his belly, frowning, sends a message to kids that fat = bad and exercise = weight loss. Very upsetting.”
“Is it just me or did the scene in the bathroom at the start of the episode make anyone else feel uncomfortable? I was mortified to see this kind of behaviour on a kids’ show,” said one disgruntled parent on Facebook.
“With one in five children around the world showing signs of disordered eating, I really expected more…”
- “Really disappointed in the way this episode started as someone who battled with my weight my whole childhood and into adulthood.”
- “We watched today’s new Bluey episode on catch-up and I tuned out 10 seconds in when Bandit stood on a set of scales because Bluey has a really, really damaging way of portraying food, exercise and being ‘healthy’.”
- “‘Oh, Chilli and Bandit are such good parent role models!’ Are they really? They’re fatphobic and are going to give their kids eating disorders.”
Other parents defend the episode
Meanwhile others defended the episode and said it was well-written and informative.
- “People getting triggered because a Bluey episode is encouraging exercise? Grow up,” one said.
- “I liked it. Parents have to balance between work, exercise and kids. I don’t feel this episode was body shaming, it gave insight that parents are people too and have worries too. This includes their weight.”
- “Loved it. The bit with the doctor at the end meant it was about Bandit taking care of himself, not about him not liking the way he looked,” another added.
Paediatrician joins the debate
Paediatric dietitian Dr Kyla Smith from Perth also called for the opening scene to be changed.
“I’d love to see the first 30 seconds changed,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I don’t want my girls watching other trusted adults (albeit dogs!) expressing dissatisfaction with how their body looks. All bodies are good bodies.”
“Diet culture is insidious, and we don’t often realise how much our kids are exposed to,” she added, speaking to 9Honey. “I’d love us all to be more aware of not commenting negatively about our bodies in front of our kids (and ideally not at all).”
Bluey Creators speak out
Bluey creator and writer Joe Brumm opened up about the episode in the new podcast ‘Behind Bluey, sharing the personal inspiration behind it and why it’s one for the kids.
He revealed that with some Bluey episodes, he writes with kids more in mind and some more aimed at parents.
“This episode ‘Exercise’ is definitely more aimed at kids,” Brumm said. “It’s a real physical comedy.
“It came about because whenever I tried to exercise, to do sit-ups or push-ups, it was like a magnet. The kids would run over and climb all over me and you had to go with it.
“As soon as you become a parent, your time for your fitness is under threat… you do find yourself having to sneak your runs and sport in. So there was a lot of standing on scales.. oh god, we are here now…”
What did you think of the exercise episode on Bluey?