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18th Apr 2023

New episode of Bluey criticised over body-shaming messages

Clodagh McKeon

Damaging and triggering.

Bluey is getting a lot of backlash following an episode containing damaging body-shaming messages.

The cartoon originally launched in Australia follows a six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy as well as her friends and family.

A recent episode called ‘Exercise’ has been described as “really damaging” for how it portrays body image, self-esteem, and weight.

In the episode, Bluey is hiding in the bathroom while her dad is shaving and looking in the mirror.

Bandit sighs and said: “Oh man” and when Bluey jumped out to scare him, she asks her dad what was wrong.

Bandit grabbed his sides and said: “Eugh, I just need to do some exercise”. Bluey’s mum Chilli then walks in and said: “Tell me about it”.

That narrative continues with Bluey asking her dad why he doesn’t just do some exercise.

Bandit replies and says the reason he doesn’t exercise is because of work and having children.

Viewers flocked to Twitter to express their frustrations over the controversial episode.

One said: “‘I adore @OfficialBlueyTV & the messages it sends. Except in the latest episode Exercise where weight becomes a trigger for exercise.

“Watching Bandit stand on scales & squeeze his belly, frowning, sends a msg to kids that fat = bad & exercise = weight loss. V upsetting.”

Another wrote: “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'”.

Many viewers called out the cartoon creators for body-shaming and were very concerned about how the episode could impact their young children.

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