Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains It All was a break-out program which set the bar high in terms of female roles in children’s programming. The show was centered on Clarissa Darling’s teenage life and was shown through her view-point. Clarissa portrayed the theme of girl power; however, boys and girls alike tuned into the program. This demographic statistic debunked the myth that boys would not watch a show with a female protagonist. The program appealed to all kids by purposely dealing with gender-neutral issues, such as fitting in at school, romance of girls and boys, and family. Clarissa is portrayed as “just another kid” in a family of four with two parents and a younger brother.

Previous children’s programming characterizes females as the victim, dim-witted, and in need of dependence. Differing from these stereotypes, Clarissa is non-sexualized, intelligent and takes initiative. She narrates throughout the program with witty and sarcastic remarks and is in control of her own life. Although this show was thought to be a huge risk for Nickelodeon as they grappled with the theme of girl power for the first time, Clarissa did not necessarily represent a feminist movement. Clarissa became a huge icon for girl empowerment in the media world, but she only modeled representation, not how to access citizenship. I am not sure what you mean by this - this point could be stated with a bit more precision. Clarissa Explains It All was the monumental Nickelodeon program which set the standard for the countless female protagonist shows that would follow in later years. However, Nickelodeon does not admit to intentionally casting these female roles; this is a smart business move that enabled the network to appeal to girls while still keeping the male viewers.

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