Apr 25, 2017 | By Jaime Cohn-Barr
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The Internet is abuzz with the news that Sesame Street has a new resident, and because it’s Sesame Street she comes with a message beyond just being a cuddly toy.
She’s standing up against racism and misogyny, and she’s all about feminism.
Zari, the latest member of the street and the hit TV show is from Afghanistan, wears a hijab, and she believes in girl power.
According to the press release from Sesame Street, Zari is “a curious and eager six year-old girl”, whose name means “shimmering,”.
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) April 7, 2016
Her casting is all about helping to shine a light on issues such as “girls’ empowerment, national identity, physical health, and social and emotional wellbeing”. She’ll appear in season five of Baghch-e-Simsim—the local co-production of Sesame Street aired on Afghan TV channels, TOLO TV and LEMAR TV.
A photo posted by Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) on
Last night, our new friend Zari had the honor of meeting First Lady of #Afghanistan, Rula Ghani! #BaghcheSimsim #GirlPower #WITW A photo posted by Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) on
Talking about the announcement, WGSN Associate Kidswear Editor, Allison Goodfellow-Ash says:
“Having any positive female character which girls & boys can relate to, in their own lighthearted entertainment space, can surely only be a positive step for countries where girls struggle for equal rights.”
“I also think it will be very positive for all girls on a global scale as she is meant to touch on topics such as physical health, social and emotional well-being, which is extremely important growing up in today’s world of instant-everything,” adds WGSN Senior Kidswear Editor Erin Rechner.
The news has already caused a bit of a social media storm, with some backlash coming from those who feel that Sesame Street is not the place for characters like this, but on the whole the response has been positive as Sesame Street makes these innovative changes that feel current and a reflection of the wider world we live in.
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