A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate, but there are some positive themes surrounding the fairies' cooperation and mutual respect.
Teen heroines have impossibly shaped physiques, and some are stereotypically obsessed with their appearance and boys. That said, the series' themes include teamwork, cooperation, self-esteem, friendship, and respect. Guys and girls are on equal footing when it comes to putting up a fight, due to the uniqueness of their individual powers. Viewers see a teen cope with discovering the truth about her past and the danger it poses to her safety.
Positive Role Models
Teens' giddiness over boys and obsession with their own appearance sends iffy messages to girls about body image and relationships with boys. But the characters do use creativity and rationality to solve problems, they draw strength in their collective abilities against their enemies, and they never back down from a challenge. Bloom's parents are caring and concerned about their daughter's welfare. Many characters are stereotypical, particularly the main villains of the series: the Trix witches Icy, Stormy and Darcy, mean girls with magic on their side.
Violence & Scariness
Some hand-to-hand fighting, but more often violence takes the form of magical weapons such as light swords and guns that shoot energy rays, flying fireballs, and the powers to conjure storms, freeze people in ice, and deflect enemies' advances with energy shields. Some storylines touch on characters' deaths, but there's no blood or gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's ongoing drama surrounding the main characters' attraction to their male counterparts, and some of their encounters include kissing and references to "going out" or getting dressed up (and made up) for a date. The girls wear skimpy outfits that accentuate their impossibly tiny waists and long, thin legs, and they talk about wearing make-up and high heels, implying that those actions correlate to their attractiveness.
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Occasional name-calling: "dimwit" and "blimp."
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Products & Purchases
The series has inspired an international marketing conglomerate of DVDs, games, toys, and other accessories.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the main characters in this fantasy cartoon aimed at young girls wear minimal clothing that shows off their impossible body proportions. In other words, this show does little to promote positive body image in its young audience, since what kids see on-screen is an unattainable goal. Stereotyping is strong in a few of the teens, who moon over boys and talk about dating; evolving relationships mean there's some kissing and hugging, too. Violence is a concern, and although most of it is rooted in fantasy (energy balls, light swords) and blood and gore are nonexistent, some storylines incorporate a character's death. That said, the content's not all bad; the magical storyline appeals to young tweens' sense of fantasy, and recurring themes of cooperation, respect, and friendship offer some teachable moments.
Is It Any Good?
Start with mystical fairy powers, add the ability to fly, flashy clothes, and the constant slumber-party atmosphere of a fairy boarding school, and you have any tween girl's recipe for fun. WINX CLUB is teeming with witches, warriors, and magical mysteries, but it's also bogged down by some content that's not so great for its very impressionable target audience. The girls sport tiny skirts and tummy-bearing tops that show off their impossibly small waistlines and slender legs, and everything from their long, flowing hair (pretty, but not very practical when you're fending off bad guys) to the mere poses they strike invokes some sexual undertones. And all that is in the absence of the guys, with whom they share hefty doses of flirting and eventually some dates and kisses.
Violence is the other sticking point, although it's pretty fantasized (mostly energy balls and magical powers), and blood is minimal. On the upside, though, if your tweens do tune in, they'll be treated to an imaginative story with bold, take-charge heroines who find strength in cooperation, creativity, and a thoughtful approach to solving problems.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.