Nothing scary about Cerrie

May 13 • Featured • 937 Views • 4 Comments on Nothing scary about Cerrie

The other day I was having a cup of tea with a friend while her two girls, aged one and three, were watching CBeebies.

Suddenly my friend winced. ‘What do you think about her?’ she asked, gesturing towards the TV. ‘It’s a bit awful, isn’t it?’

She was talking about Cerrie Burnell, one of the CBeebies presenters.

Cerrie is a warm, friendly, attractive woman who happens to have been born without a hand. She takes her disability in her stride and has chosen not to wear a prosthetic arm.

‘Well, it doesn’t bother me – and it doesn’t seem to bother the kids, either,’ I said. ‘No you’re right,’ my friend replied. ‘But there have been loads of complaints about her.’

Later on I decided to google ‘Cerrie Burnell’ – and couldn’t believe how many parents had posted messages about her, calling her ‘scary’. One dad has even banned his child from watching CBeebies altogether, because she will give his children 'nightmares'.

I doubt very much that little ones are instantly repelled by Cerrie. After all, they watch a slightly disturbing talking sponge and a group of unintelligible creatures with TV aerials sticking out of their heads with no apparent ill-effect. They should be able to cope with seeing another human being with a slight disability.

I think that what happens is that parents overreact, and voice their disgust to their kids. Children are very susceptible to the power of suggestion, and that's why it's up to us to ensure they don't fear, isolate or reject anyone who might be different to them.

written by Liz Jarvis


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4 Responses to Nothing scary about Cerrie

  1. Chris says:

    Children are so innocent and so incredibly susceptible to what we tell them and how we respond. I told my son that he deserved a treat after his dinner the other night. I pulled out a box of Indian spices and opened the bag to offer him the treat. He ate handfuls and kept smiling because as far as he was concerned this was a treat. Take careful note about how often kids look at you to see how they should respond. You can easily influence how they perceive things when young and well into their childhood.

  2. new mum says:

    This is a brilliant post . Children are so accepting of good and bad and it is up to parents to show them a responsible social attitude to all walks of life. Cerrie is a warm friendly and intelligent lady – how dare we suggest otherwise to our kids. Their future will be limited (and rather dull) if they can only relate to people ‘like themselves’

  3. Bev says:

    I find the furore over Cerrie to be quite unfounded and disgusting. She appears to be a lovely warm and happy presenter, who like most of our TV presenters, is extremely attractive. Why should she not be on children’s television; my own daughter, now 5 but younger at the time, asked why she had part of her arm missing and this lead to a good opening about what the reason could be. She was interesting and accepting of it, as should be the case. Children will see, and need to understand that people are different all around them. i think the only time I would stop Cbeebies was if they took this lovely lady off our cbeebies screen because of complaints!

  4. Sarah says:

    Anyone who’s had feelings of discomfort, even if they’ve hidden it from the kids, should be ashamed of themselves. it’s a briiliant move by the bbc to put cerrie on there, absolutely brilliant. Cannot believe that there could be mothers out there who’d object. What if their own kids had been born disabled, would they be happy with people feeling that way?


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