• Laura Orr

Shimmer and Shine: A Cure for Your Sweet Tooth

Updated: Aug 10



Shimmer and Shine: "Fluffier than a cake cloud raining gumdrops."


The ladies are back from spring break! They start off with a quick chat about the highly-discussed Turning Red, and then it's time for Laura to indoctrinate Kara into the world of Shimmer and Shine!


Turning Red:


The Disney/Pixar flick Turning Red is a coming-of-age movie with a nod to the inevitability of menstruation, which is causing some discomfort among some parents. The ladies feel any controversy behind this one is overblown. There is some minor mature language and themes of defiance from the main character. The defiance is nothing new in popular movies, however, considering that Little Mermaid, Lion King, and plenty of Disney movies featured similar plots. The kids haven’t pick up on the menstruation topics; Kara's like the panda, and Laura's like the music.


Both hosts notice a recent theme of generational trauma in Disney movies, with Turning Red experiencing success after Encanto exploding on the scene.


Onto Shimmer and Shine!


This children's show is about two glittery genies in training who do all the fun things that the girliest of little girls dream about in a magical setting inspired by the middle east. Laura initially thought her young daughter was the target audience, but Kara's young son also loved the show! Inspired by the genies, Michael ended up calling Kara the "wish granter”, which is just another word for mom, right? If only they were limited to three wishes a day!


Potentially problematic themes:


Kara feels that the show is a bit whitewashed, considering the middle eastern aesthetic. She also takes issue with the glamorization of little girls. Growing up as a tomboy, she didn't care for Barbies or anything pink, so the style of the show isn’t for her, but does agree that the storylines are cute and simple.


Laura describes it as Rainbow Brite on steroids. She doesn’t love that the show sometimes borders on giving the girls a bit of a dumb girl trope when they get the wishes wrong.


On a positive note, the show passes the Bechdel test, which measures the depth of fictional female characters.

The criteria of the test are:

- At least two women are featured

- They talk to each other

- They discuss something other than a man (in this case a boy)


While Laura acknowledges the intensity of the “girliness” in the show, she expresses that this show can exist along with the Ada Twists of the world, as long as it’s not being prioritized over other representations of femaleness. She also appreciates the absence of toxic femininity (competing over boys and focusing on looks) in the show. Otherwise, we might be having a completely different conversation! Instead the plot focuses on adventure, friendship, and personal growth.


Also, Gretchen from Mean girls (Lacey Chabert) is the voice of the likable villain Zeta who has a chaotic neutral pet Nazboo. What a pleasant surprise!