A Hidden Meaning In The Teletubbies?

We’ve all seen the teletubbies. Come on admit it.. I used to watch this daily when I was young. I don’t know what it was, but it really did make me laugh. It was the hoover – ‘noo noo’ that tickled me the most. The way it’s eyes used to move about and the way it just sucked everything up. I don’t know, it just had me in fits of laughter. Looking at it now, I can see why it would scare children. It looks quite freaky. Then there’s the tubby custard! The teletubbies obsessed over this and it became a major part of the show. We would expect it every time we tuned in. The show was funny for children but looking back now it had some serious hidden meanings. As it turns out, the program was at the centre of a controversy when in 1999 it was claimed that Tinky Winky, was a homosexual role model. This conclusion was based on the character’s purple colour and triangular antenna; both the colour purple and the triangle are sometimes used as symbols of the Gay Pride movement. Tinky Winky also had a red handbag that he carried around everywhere. Which seemed funny to children as male characters would not have handbags as this is seen as a ‘girls’ item. I agree with this statement, that Tinky Winky was a character made to show children that it is not unusual for a male to show these characteristics, and that it is okay to be different. It’s not weird and the other teletubbies accepted him for who he was. Tinky Winky was also the largest and oldest of the teletubbies. Dipsy was another male character, who was green and his face was noticeably darker than the others. The show has stated that this was to do with race and that Dipsy was meant to be black. Again, this is another way of the program showing diversity and equality. Dipsy was the most stubborn of all the characters and wouldn’t always go along with their plans. Dipsy’s item was a cow print hat that he used to wear. Po was the smallest and youngest of all the teletubbies. She was red and always carried her scooter around with her. She spoke in a very soft, baby like voice. The show’s creators said she was Cantonese, and as such, she is bilingual, speaking both English and Cantonese. Laa laa was yellow and loved to sing and dance. She had a big orange ball that she used to play with. This character was very sweet and loving as she looked out for the other characters. When I was a child la laa was everybody’s favourite character due to the personality that the show created for her. She was caring and comforting – things we all look for in people in our lives to provide trustworthy relationships. Her caring attitude led her to be most people’s favourite character. So already we have established diversity in race, and sexuality. Who would have thought a typical kids show would have this message hidden? I think the show was actually quite clever in the way all the teletubbies were different, yet were all a close group of friends, that helped each other. This is me reading way too much into the show itself, but is the truth behind it all.


10 thoughts on “A Hidden Meaning In The Teletubbies?

  1. Jonathan says:

    I never understood “In the Night Garden” until somebody pointed out to me that “Un, Oo, and Ee” were the words a small child can pronounce for “One, Two, and Three”… there’s hidden stuff in all these kids shows 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. KDKH says:

    I grew up in a flatland desert. While everyone else focused on the characters, I was entranced by the lush green hills — grass that didn’t require watering and the beautiful little hills !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jodie says:

    I think this is more common than people think in children’s TV shows – it’s an easy way to ‘slowly expose’ the children to the world, if you like. If you’re brought up in a single race household, a child may be a little unsure when they go to nursery and discover so many different children, all from different cultures and aesthetically different. I think these shows prepare them for that, and most children are SO accepting and I’d like to think that is due to what they are exposed to on the TV.

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x


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  5. Angelinarodz says:

    although this is interesting to read and friendly to the public, there may be even darker secrets involving the teletubbies.


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