Adults should be able to watch cartoons without embarrassment


These are some of my favorite Disney movies.

At 16 years old and almost 17, I would not necessarily consider myself an adult—yet, I am certainly not a little kid either. I am in the weird in-between, where because I’m not 12 or under, I cannot eat from the kids’ menu, but I also can’t vote or do other adult-ish things.

Along with the no kids menu, it is also viewed as wrong and embarrassing if I were to tell my peers that I have not stopped watching SpongeBob SquarePants or Gravity Falls, both of which are traditionally childish shows. If it’s so wrong to watch shows meant for kids, why is it that they bring me the most joy out of any other category of television shows?

Though it’s generally meant for kids—and only kids—those shows that we all used to love can do more than idly entertain a seven-year-old.

They are labeled as “kid shows” because they are innocent cartoons, always filled with an overarching lesson that ultimately desires to teach children to be exceptional people. Children do pick up valuable teachings that could help them later in life.

As much as these brightly-colored bits of animation can aid in children’s development, they can also provide adults with an almost immeasurable positive influence. 

Though it generally meant for kids—and only kids—those shows that we all used to love can do more than idly entertain a seven-year-old.

Although some might not believe it, watching cartoons as adults can improve your self-confidence. Think about watching The Incredibles or Power Puff Girls, where the characters constantly defeat their enemies and villains. They work past their own weaknesses to ultimately win the day and live happily ever after. Is that not almost everybody’s goal? 

As a junior in high school, I am bombarded with work. At certain points, I’ve wanted to be like, “this isn’t a talk show! Nobody wants the free homework you are telling us to find under the seats!” Any free time I have, I spend anxiously. My stress isn’t relieved until I finish all of my homework and assure myself that I’m all caught up with my work. When I do finish, I am in a state of bliss—just kidding. No, I’m most definitely not in a state of bliss. I’m still stressed, just not about homework; I’m anxious because I know that I’ll have to do it all again tomorrow and that I just realized I forgot to study for my math test.

When this unrelievable stress hits me, I’ll fall into a silly kids’ show. Shows labeled as “silly” can be a phenomenal stress reliever. Laughter increases the endorphins released in the brain, effectively lowering stress levels. Overall, you will become more relaxed and can momentarily forget your stressors.

Another undeniable pro is the nostalgia bound to come with watching an old cartoon. For me, the show I watched most when I was younger was Gravity Falls. Every night that a new episode came out, my brother and I would huddle around the tv, endeavoring to find all the hidden clues to solve the mystery before Dipper and Mabel did. Whenever I rewatch it, I am transported back to 2012 when it first aired, successfully making me more jocund.

Obviously, I am not suggesting that you stop watching shows that are perhaps more appropriate for your age; I am merely suggesting that if you turn on the tv and see SpongeBob SquarePants is on, consider watching it every once in a while instead of your high stress, “cool” show.