The Wiggle House: Representation Can’t Be The End Of This Story

emma watkins and tsehay hawkins

Did anyone else’s Little Wiggle get a bit knocked around the by the skivvy handover announcement? 

As mum to a two year old daughter, it’s been wonderful having Emma’s voice in our speaker and presence on stage as a female band member.  

Clearly, representation matters. 

As Tsehay Hawkins steps from the support crew to the main lineup, more children will see themselves reflected in the kids’ entertainment juggernaut that is the Wiggles. 

While it’s sad to see Emma go, Tsehay is a brilliant performer and I have little doubt she will have the children at the front of the stage captivated in a heartbeat.  

I have my fingers and toes crossed that the powers-that-be behind it provide the same level of support as those adoring little ones, rather than ticking the “diversity” box, patting themselves on the back for their inclusivity and walking on. 

Australia is not as multicultural and all-welcoming as we like to think it is, and Tsehay may face an even steeper road to acceptance than Emma did in 2013. Still, I have hope. 

I hope there is a PR agent reminding journalists that she is in Year 10, and her body is not up for discussion. 

I hope there is a manager who lets her know she is welcome to talk about her heritage if she wants to, but also “where are you from?” is not a question she owes anyone an answer to. 

I hope there is a choreographer who will always cast her as the princess, police officer or zookeeper, and never the maid, criminal or monkey. 

I hope there is a stylist who knows how to properly care for her gorgeous hair, and someone in merchandise who ensures they sell branded hair accessories, not Afro wigs. 

I hope there is a music producer suggesting it’s time to ditch the historically racist nursery rhymes with white-washed lyrics from the band’s repertoire. 

I hope there are three white male band members ready to educate white parents that blackface is offensive and never “just part of a costume”. 

I hope that “Tsehay dolls” fly off the shelves just like “Emma” ones have. 

I hope that there is a young woman with a yellow skivvy and stars in her eyes who loves every moment of this adventure. 

A big welcome to our Wiggly House, Tsehay, you're invited here every day. 

Image source: The Wiggles Facebook page.


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