Sometimes “Perfect” Helga


In 90’s there was the American cartoon “Hey Arnold!” on Nickelodeon. There is Arnold(9 years old), the football-headed boy and his school friends. He also has a lover from his school, Helga. Although she bullies Arnold every time, she is deeply in love with him and she cannot confess her feelings to him. Helga is a blonde, thin, strong girl who has single brow and ironically wears a pink dress and has a pink ribbon on her head.



In “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?”, Peggy Orenstein talks about girls dressing pink, acting kind, being thin and trying to be perfect. Helga is a confrontational character because she provides physical stereotypes of a perfect girl, but when it comes to her attitudes she is totally a bully.

She is not wanted by her crush Arnold, maybe it’s because she has been rude to him or maybe she is not pretty enough. In one of the episodes(the name of the episode is “Married“) a friend of Arnold comes up with a game called “Origami Marriage Predictor”, a game which tells you the name of the person that you are gonna marry. Arnold plays the game and the name of the person that he was going to marry was Helga. He wanted to confirm the result because he was too unhappy with it- so he took the test for 110 times. Arnold was in love with another female character Lila, who more hard-worker, pretty, kind, popular and smart.  Lila is almost the “perfect” girl as Orenstein depicts it. In another episode of “Hey Arnold!”(the episode’s name is Arnold’s Valentine) Helga masquerades as a french girl(Cecile), she becomes sexy and she dates with Arnold. Again we are facing the same questions:Does beauty really matters? Do girls have to be perfect to be with their crushes?Arnold

To watch the episodes:


Arnold’s Valentine:


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