8 Important Lessons Learned from '80s Cartoons

CARTOON: He-Man
LESSON: It' OK to be gay.
Look at this guy: golden locks cut in a tasteful bob, buff biceps, tanned, toned, hairless torso, a magic sword and most importantly, fabulous powers. What' more, He-Man invites his handsome friends, the Masters of the Universe, to come hang out in his castle anytime. Of course Skeletor and his fugly cohorts are never allowed access to the secrets of He-Man' dark, dry palace.
Yes, we had He-Man toys, like Ram-Man, Trap-Jaw and even Castle Grayskull. We also had a favorite pair of tighty whiteys that had He-Man on one cheek and Skeletor on the other, battling over our asshole. But did merely owning and wearing that underwear make us gay?
How it affected us as adults: As regards the above question, it' a very complex matter, but in a word: yes. (For more on depictions of homosexuality in '80s cartoons, please see Care Bears.)

CARTOON: Jem
LESSON: Grrrls rock!
OK, this was more our sister' show, but we certainly watched it on more than one occasion, and learned that chicks with guitars and magic earrings kick ass. Jem is a sexy feminist living every young girl' dream: music executive by day and rock star by night. She has it all: a bubblegum pop band called The Holograms, a boyfriend in love with both her and her alter ego and, for some reason, a foster home for orphans. In addition to teaching us how much grrrls rock, Jem also taught us that love triangles between only two people are often messy, confusing and potentially hilarious.
What? You've never seen Jem? Oh. Neither have we.
How it affected us as adults: Let' just say the matching restraining orders filed against us by Debbie Gibson and Joan Jett didn't happen on their own.

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