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  2. Sesame Street Season 46
    Sesame Street's 46th season officially began Saturday January 16 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

SST Castmember with Nose Ring?

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Princeton, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Princeton

    Princeton Active Member

    On a lark, I watched a little Sesame Street today and I was introduced to a new human character I had never seen on the Street before. I believe her name was Lena, but Muppet Wiki doesn't have a listing for this specific character under that name. Anyway, the interesting thing about Lena was that she had a nose ring. My dad, who was watching with me, thought that this was an inappropriate thing for a Sesame Street character to have. I agree that it was a little jarring but more than that, I was wondering if CTW had a similar policy as the Disney Theme Parks regarding cast members (no piercings, no tattoos, no facial hair, etc.) What do you guys think?
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Princeton.

    First of all, Disney recently changed their castmate policy and will now allow facial hair such as beards and goatees.
    Secondly, Lena is one of the newer characters on Sesamstrasse, the German co-production. She is however a baby monster, so I'm not sure that's the character you meant.
    It is possible you were talking about the most recent addition to the US cast, Leela who comes from an Indian background because her actress is of that particular nationality.
    Because of my visual acuity or lack there of, I wouldn't know if she does wear a nose ring or not. Dunno what the hubbub over this is, but hey at least others may chime in after this.
  3. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well I believe nose piercing is pretty popular in Indian culture; that would make sense.
  4. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Her name is Leela.
  5. Princeton

    Princeton Active Member

    I was aware of the Sesamstrasse character; that's why I made the disclaimer that maybe that wasn't her name. In my defense, Elmo was the only character that called Leela by her name and Elmo is sometimes hard to understand. And there's no 'hubbub'; I was just surprised to see someone with a piercing on a children's program. I had not realized that the character was from India; now that I know that, it makes perfect sense.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Sesame Street has been doing a good job using her to show parts of Indian culture. Not a huge amount, but it's great to see a character that manages to bring parts of a culture into the homes of children who wouldn't know otherwise.

    I'm wondering if they'd explain the nose piercing and any cultural significance to that in an upcoming episode....
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well I assume some of the female cast members have had ear piercings over the years, hehe.
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, ear piercing isn't really that big a deal, since, well, it's been pretty common for women to wear some frm of jewelry on their ears, whether they're earrings, piercings, what have you...

    I mean, I can see why someone with a nose ring, or nose piercing, whatever, would seem a little unexpected to people, especially on a kid show, but there's one thing that SST, and the Muppets in general, have been known for, and that's keeping up with the times, and it's really relevant: look at the 70s how many sketches and inserts reflected the disco era, or the 80s when everything was all neon and "glam" and everything... in our modern-day society, it isn't uncommon to see someone with some form of body piercing, remember in MFS, Sam's jaw dropped when he saw a teenaged girl dancing, exposing her belly, which had a piercing in the belly-button... or heck, The Dot in IAVMMCM was a BIG example, I found that a lot more disturbing than someone on SST being seen with a nose ring (plus, heralde has a point, Leela's nose ring could have cultural significance). Or even more recently, Miss Poogy and her borderline S&M getup.

    Is it inappropriate to expose kids to this? Well, I think that is mostly up to how parents feel about it... a nose ring may or may not sit easily with some parents, but suppose she had other piercings? Like say, her brow? Lip? Even tongue? That may be pushing a little, but who knows? I think mainly it's those who are more old school as far as their views go are more likely to think such a thing would be a little inappropriate... it's sort of like myself and The Squirrely Squirrels: I wanted them to reflect today's mainstream contemporary fashion, with their clothes and colored hair, they project a desired image, but isn't too overtop... now, had I gone a step further with piercings, fishnets, little leather straps and chains, etc, that may have been pushing it a little.

    What's funny is that reading in the 40 Years book, Emilio Delgado said they had asked him to shave off his mustache when he had gotten the job of being a part of the cast... I wonder why that was? Gordon had a mustache, why couldn't Luis have one too? What Luis have been like with a mustache?
  9. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    It just shows that what's offensive and strange is often in the eye of the beholder. ;) There is no logical reason why ear piercing is more acceptable than nose piercing, but that's just how the pop culture has formed in the US. Other countries can have different norms.
  10. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Active Member

    I stick out a bit for being a dude with both his ears pierced and currently short hair, but really it's not something people notice. I, of all people, am completely and utterly desensitized to people with body mods. Leela DOES have her nostril done and I believe it is a cultural thing, but as far as I can see there is no issue with that sort of deal unless you're a fuddy-duddy conservative type that judges soley on appearance. The notion of children not being exposed to people with body modification, not matter how minor, is just as bad as children should not watch a television programme just because an actor is gay, and that is "bad for children" according to some predjuiced people.

    Here in Australia at least, you're protected by law from being discriminated as an employee (therefore often as a performer) on the basis of appearance.
    heralde likes this.
  11. Animal31

    Animal31 Active Member

    Whether she may be from India, or anywhere else, as a parent of two I see nothing wrong with it. Why should it have to be explained?

    I'm tattooed and pierced and have raised my kids not to be judgemental of a person before you know them...
    heralde likes this.
  12. Princeton

    Princeton Active Member

    And good for you! My concern is directed towards the more jaded parents who may not want their children to see it on Sesame Street.
  13. Animal31

    Animal31 Active Member

    Then one of two things can occur, Sesame Street will teach the adults as well as the children about tolerance, or the adults can change the channel.

    If this is the biggest issue for parents to be concerned with then there is a problem....but that's just my 2 cents.

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