Dr. Mandi N. Barringer | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Media is socially constructed and those who create the message, shape the beliefs and principles that are displayed. The viewers do not merely accept the representations at face value; they consume it, interpret and analyze the validity of it and then express their thoughts on what they see. Media is an influential tool for challenging, maintaining, and expanding consumer’s understanding of the world around them, playing a key role in shaping people’s identities, especially gender and sexuality. It’s important to be able to analyze media to critically think about the worlds that are presented to us that represent the world we live in. Evidently aimed at a younger audience, even with an unpleasant style of cartoon, Big Mouth deals with teenage sexual issues comedically and bluntly representing and explaining the ugliness of puberty and society. It’s progressive and sex-positive, showing the true awkwardness and weird sexual urges that adolescents experience. It is littered with diverse representation and a relatable plot. By purposefully setting up situations, the show takes a stab at certain situations, calling out institutions and society, in a postmodernist way. This paper is a discussion of Big Mouth, which dives deep into “taboo” subjects, in a brutally honest way, and discusses the struggles of navigating sexuality, puberty, and injustices of society in childhood.
1 thought on “LGBTQ+ Journeys and Femininity, Masculinity throughout Puberty: A Thematic Analysis of Netflix’s Big Mouth”
I have seen some of this before and it’s exciting to see it here now.
Something also interesting about this is how since it is an animated series they can do a lot of things which would not be suited for another media. The personification of the hormone monsters and many other integral aspects require a certain suspension of disbelief that comes naturally with animation. Also, it gets away from the tired trope of having young adults play teenagers in so many shows that depict highschoolers.
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