Design by Linsay Farb


It’s not synonymous with wealth per se, but its connotated with “getting ahead” of those who don’t have the same advantages. Privilege comes in all forms; one can obtain it through access to generational wealth, race, a household with two working parents and, in some extreme cases, fairies. 

I’m talking, of course, about Timmy Turner from the hit early 2000s animated children’s show “The Fairly OddParents.”

Making its debut in 2001, the synopsis of the show is fairly easy to understand. A young boy, Timmy Turner (Tara Strong, “Teen Titans Go!”), navigates the ups and downs of growing up with help from his fairy godparents, Wanda (Susanne Blakeslee, “Amphibia”) and Cosmo (Daran Norris, “Adventures in Wonder Park”), who grant his every wish. 

Back then, I only saw the show as a simple kids’ show with no self-awareness. However, watching it now as an adult, I’ve realized the show was way ahead of its time in revealing how privileged people remain entirely clueless to how their good fortune is not the norm for everyone. As straightforward as the plots appear, there are a few questions sticking in the back of my mind that the show has always left unanswered: Why does Timmy Turner have fairy godparents, but not his poverty-stricken best friend Chester McBadbat (Jason Marsden, “Young Justice”)? Why does Timmy Turner use all the wishes for himself and not wish Chester a better life? And most important, why is Timmy Turner still unhappy even though his fairies give him anything he wishes for? 

According to the University of Berkley’s survey, the privileged are some of the unhappiest groups of people compared to any other group. Having access to things, experiences, etc., can only take a person so far in the world, but it still won’t mask that empty feeling or satisfy a person’s undefined yearnings. 

In real life, those who are privileged can get what they want with more ease, usually because of the simple fact that they are always a few steps ahead. Growing up, it’s normal to look at the privileged from the outside looking in and assume that they are happy because they have more. The world of the “have” and “have nots” feels like such a black-and-white concept.

However, having more doesn’t equate to happiness. As seen in “Fairly Odd Parents,” Chester lives in poverty with his father, an unemployed single-parent, but he appears to be happy. Timmy, in contrast, wakes up every day in a stable household with two (albeit detached) parents, in a decent-sized home, with a pair of magical fairies, yet still has something to complain about. His only true conflict is the fact that he has an evil babysitter, Vicky (Grey Griffin, “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?”). The show is the epitome of having everything and still being unhappy. 

“The Fairly OddParents” is reflective of how privilege can be a bubble. Timmy is entirely unaware and uninterested in the lives and struggles of others. But the show, through Chester, also proves that being content has everything to do with the way you accept your hardships and the lemons life has offered to you.

Daily Arts Writer Jessica Curney can be reached at