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Rugrats, A progressive show by Frshta Mangal

Have you ever had a role model and you didn’t even know it?

I have and her name was Angelica Pickles.

Angelica Pickles was the three-year-old that showed me what a strong girl looks like. She was fierce, yet kind. Angelica was the antagonist of the 90s shows called Rugrats. She was probably the biggest antagonist of the 90s Nicktoons.

Angelica would spend her days plotting different scenarios to get her hands on cookies or tease her cousins.

If you are familiar with the show, Rugrats, you probably think I am a horrible person since Angelica was/is one of my role models. But, there is more to her than the on-screen bullying.

First off, Rugrats was a progressive show for its time. The adult women in the show were each powerful in their own way. They showcased diversity in race and gender. The cast included an African American and a Japanese family.

Charlotte Pickles, Angelica’s mom, was the money maker in her marriage. She was a boss lady and encouraged her daughter to do the same.

“Angel, when you don’t share, well, it… it won’t look good on the application for Harvard.” — Charlotte Pickles, Rugrats, Season 4.

Didi Pickles was a working mom who pushed herself to achieve higher education even though she had children. She was a sensitive and loving mother yet still had time to nurture her kids.

Betty Devilles was a physically strong mother. She had muscles and thrived in physical activities.

Kira Finster was a single mother who was not afraid to find love again. She was brave enough to leave what she knew and start a new life. Yet, she was not afraid to bring the best parts of her old life into her new life.

Lucy Carmichael was a doctor and an amazing cook!

Yet, all of these women still keep their womanhood. They weren’t trying to be like men and that was the best part about them.

Also, their husbands were not your typical husbands. Quite frankly, all the males in the show were not your traditional male stereotypes.

Charles Finster was a coward, yet had a truly sensitive side.

Stu Pickles had a failing career but he continued to be a dreamer.

Howie Deville was shy and overshadowed by the other males of the show.

Drew Pickles was arrogant but had this horrible yet endearing habit of not being able to say no to his daughter, Angelica.

Randy Carmichael was a writer for the "Dummy Bear" tv series.

Each character in the show had this rich and intriguing background that children could never truly understand at the same time they do understand. Does that make sense? What I mean is at nine years old, I didn’t understand all of these different character traits and what they meant for society at the time or even now. But, I understood what they meant to me. I re-watched the show recently, and that is when I realized how the show had so many hidden political tropes yet as a child I had no idea. The creators of Rugrats were shaping my mind and my beliefs and I didn’t even know it. All I knew was I wanted to be around these babies and watch them on their adventures.

Each one of the babies had their unique personality too.

Phil and Lil showcased the love between siblings.

Chuckie was the scary cat who liked to play it safe.

Tommy was the brave baby always standing up for what is right.

Kimi was also brave and loved her new stepbrother.

Susie was Angelica’s rival and showcased the exact opposite personality as Angelica.

Angelica was our antagonist who loved cookies.

As horrible as Angelica was to the babies, she still had this charm about her. She was competitive and confident. She knew what she wanted and didn’t back down. Also, she was overprotective. As Tommy once said, “Angelica, you like us…you really really like us!” She promoted tough love and a hard exterior but a compassionate interior. No one is perfect and she represented humans beautifully. Sometimes we slip and want too much junk food and we might go as far as tricking others into letting us eat it.

Angelica taught me to be a leader. My cousins would call me Angelica because I would lead like her or like they would say “Stop being bossy.” Ha!

I truly believe that the characters of Rugrats shaped me. I even have a stuck-up white cat-like Angelica.

Happy Wednesday!



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