Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Using the "Peanutize Me" Avatar to Send a Message

Have you seen the Peanutize Me avatars people are creating? It is a clever promotion for the Peanuts movie due out in November.

This morning, author Rene Saldana posted this one on his Facebook page*:

"I am the invisible brown."

Seeing his, I went back to the one I started making last night. Here's mine:

"Quit smiling, Snoopy. We have work to do. 
Crappy books about us keep getting published."

If you create one with a political message about children's or young adult literature, let me know and I'll add it.


Here's one from librarian Sujei Lugo, added at 11:48 on September 22, 2015:

Here's one from 8mph Ansible (on Twitter), added at 1:16 on September 22, 2015:

"Not only do we lack diversity in male chars
but male chars wearing kilts & skirt-like apparel."

Delighted to add artist Don Tate (Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015) who used his artistic skills to great effect!

"#We Need More Diverse Peanuts"

This one is from Gwen Tarbox, children's literature professor (added on September 23, 2015):

"I'm smiling because my children's literature students 
came to the realization that we ALL need diverse books."

*In later conversations with Rene, he told me that he was surprised when he downloaded his avatar and saw that he was invisible. In the part where you select skin tone, he had selected a light brown. We both wonder if invisible was an option, and why his avatar turned out invisible. I thought it was deliberate on his part. It echoed the invisible nature of books by Latino writers, and, reminded me of an essay he wrote at Latinos in Kidlit, Forgive Me My Bluntness: I'm a Writer of Color and I'm Right Here In Front of You: I'm the One Sitting Alone at the Table.


Rene Saldana, Jr. said...

Debbie: I've been thinking about this Peanutification of the Self a bit more since we FBed earlier, and I wonder if Hollywood/Disney (?) really thought this through? I mean, I know it's meant to be fun and funny. B/c, you know, even as kids of color, we enjoyed reading Peanuts and watching all those Charlie Brown specials, and some of us even identified with the angst suffered by our unlikely hero, Charlie. And so this gimmick to promote the movie is cool in that regard. But they don't offer all the options available, if you get my drift. No kids who are abled differently, for instance. Though I guess if you choose the really dark glasses, that avatar could pass for visually impaired, though I don't think that's what they meant here. No "big" body type, so those kids are excluded, and made invisible in a worse way than I was made. These folks opened themselves up to this sort of thing, you know.

Debbie Reese said...

Excellent points, Rene. There are many ways the Peanutize gimmick (good word for it!) excludes people.

A few years ago I saw a t-shirt based on Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. Peppermint Patty is shown in a headdress.