Cartoon crushes are not that weird

BY SARAH RUBIN
Pieces of Flair
Published October 17, 2001

Think Saturday morning. Think 10 years ago. If this doesn"t conjure up visions of Scooby Doo and Frosted Cherry Pop Tarts, then your childhood was seriously devoid of American culture.

Paul Wong
LSA sophomore and agnostic Michael Seider is uncertain about the existence of a god.<br><br>EMMA FOSDICK/Daily

I was a child of the 1980s. Most of you were, too. If Jefferson Starship, "Charles in Charge" and "Punky Brewster" mean anything to you, then count yourself in.

And, as a byproduct of the neon generation, I embrace the impact that Saturday-morning cartoons had upon my life. The many hours spent with "My Little Pony" and "Transformers" have molded me into the upstanding young University of Michigan student that I am today.

And while we give props to our animated companions, let"s not exclude the influential, all-popular Simpsons. Matt Groening has single-handedly created a modern Cleaver family his little yellow people are a staple, a symbol, of today"s society. They"re just so freaking cool.

Nintendo, Sega Genesis and video games also had a special place in my formative years. Combined with the Disney movies, they provided every reason to worship the television there was just no limit as to how long I would be glued to our set.

My reading material was comprised of a completely different set of cartoons. "Archie" comics, Charles Schultz"s "Peanuts" and the "X-Men" provided most of my role-models. By the end, I had the "He-Man and She-Ra Movie" down verbatim.

If you question the benefit of animated heroes, just check out Wonder Woman. She had a patriotic outfit, killer abs and the ability to save the world. What more could any parent ask for?

When I was seven-years-old, all I aspired to be was Jem. Yep. Pink hair. Yep. Misfits. She had these dangly star earrings that were truly, truly, truly outrageous.

But minor problems arose as the pre-pubescent stages set in. Whereas before I had aspired to be cartoons, there was this shift and suddenly, I wanted to do cartoons.

Remember Raphael of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" infamy? The hero in a half-shell who was green? He was a total babe we even had similar interests (pizza and video games). I could tell that it was fate.

But Raphael was just one of many cute characters. Don"t even get me started on Aladdin, Simba and other miscellaneous prince charmings. If the turtles are a bit of a stretch for your hormonal urges, check out Prince Eric, the little mermaid"s beau.

I get all star struck just remembering the way that Beast morphed into the ballroom-dancing heartthrob that made Belle say, "Oui! Oui!"

And these are only the cartoon boys. Their coolness-factor pales in comparison to Betty and Veronica, who were by far the most booty-licious comic girls ever. "Sailor Moon," anyone? Those anime ladies are the most stylish people this side of "Vogue."

So it"s okay if you have a thing for Space Ghost or that little sponge dude. I mean, it"s perfectly natural to lust after cartoon characters. Everyone"s doing it. In the end, I think that it reflects positively upon college students.

You see, if we can have crushes on Ninja Turtles and other random two-dimensional animals that talk, then maybe we are not so appearance-oriented, shallow and pretentious.

Really, a physical attraction to cartoons may represent the deeper, more emotional side of our twenty-something, live-in-the-now nature.

Then again, maybe Papa Smurf is just that hot.

If you have sexual fantasies about Thunder Cats or are appalled at the prospect of a naked Care Bear, please feel free to share your insights with Sarah Rubin at

syrubin@umich.edu.