Worse than not being the star of a tale is the opposite: being entirely erased from the narrative.
So last week we took Grouting to Peppa Pig World. It was vaguely en route to where we were spending most of the week, and other parents whose judgement I trust had told me it was worth going. It was, indeed, a decent day out and we didn't run out of things to do, Grouting crashing before we made it through all seven toddler-friendly rides plus other things and people to browse and meet respectively. She played in the small water park and was hugged by Susie Sheep. The weather wasn't too bad.
What was increasingly obvious to me, however, was that Granny Pig was nowhere to be seen. Peppa is a young anthropomorphized pig, with a younger brother George, parents, and grandparents on her mother's side, all of whom play major roles in the television series. Her grandmother has a pet parrot, raises chickens, has an orchard, cooks, and creates games for her grandchild. She is, following entrenched gender norms, nurturing. Her grandfather takes them on adventures in their boat and on his miniature train. He is, to be clichéd, a man of action. He also tends the garden.
In the themepark, right next to the entrance, is "Grandpa Pig's House", with Grandpa standing outside. There's "Grandpa Pig's Train" to ride on and "Grandpa Pig's Boats" to ride in. In the dinosaur ride, there's Grandpa Pig again, looking after the garden and telling the riders about seed packets. Two of the seven rides are named after, and sculpturally manned by him, and he appears in a third.
There is not a single Granny Pig to be found outside of the gift shop. She's even been erased from her own house.
In this version of Peppa's world, has Granny died? Was Grandpa divorced much earlier? Is Granny lurking inside house, her name not on the deed to the property?
Or, mostly likely, is it that Granny is categorized as so much background noise, nurturing and supporting, but not leading adventures?
Except for that, I had an unexpectedly decent time there.