A Lesson from Steven Universe: Let Your Voice be Heard

Steven Universe: Sadie's Song

Always remember to be yourself and do what feels right for you. It can be hard to do that sometimes, especially when you feel like you need to be a certain way to satisfy the people around you.

This is one of the major themes of the animated show Steven Universe, a cartoon that sees many of its characters go through their own personal journeys to find self-acceptance after discovering new freedoms they have never had before. This applies to the many relationships and dynamics seen throughout the show, from friendships to love interests and unconventional parental bonds.

This theme even applies to the show's side characters, most of whom get their own standalone episodes that break apart from the main story. A perfect example of this is Season 2’s episode, Sadie’s Song. In this episode, Sadie, the clerk from Steven’s favorite donut shop, shows some interest in singing at the upcoming Beach-a-Palooza talent show. Steven encourages Sadie to actually perform at the event, which starts things off on a light note. Though, slowly over time it’s clear that Steven is taking charge of putting the whole thing together, and Sadie struggles even more when her mom joins in on the prep for the show. Instead of doing things in her own way, Sadie deals with listening to both Steven and her mom, and she has trouble trying to fit the image of what they want her to be.

In the end Sadie stands up for herself and decides not to enter the talent show. It may be a letdown for Steven and Sadie’s mom, but for Sadie, she finally reaches the point where she can say no to others and make decisions for herself. Her character arc completes in one episode (in 11 minutes too!), and her standalone journey calls back to the major themes that the main cast deals with for most of the series.

It's alright to take suggestions from others, and I'm sure that all our friends and loved ones have some good advice and the best of intentions. But don't forget the most important voice: (YOURS) The one in your head.

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*** Writer’s Note: Here is a quick preview of the Steven Universe episode, Sadie’s Song. To watch the full episode, be sure to watch Steven Universe on Hulu or the Cartoon Network Website!

If you haven't seen Steven Universe, I highly recommend you check it out! Episodes like this don't require the context behind the major story arc, but this also captures the whole feel of the show in a short and smaller way. The show has a nice blend of friendly cartoon humor and adventure, with some really rad themes that teach you to be secure with yourself.


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Jeric Llanes

A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English, Jeric started working in film and comic book editing over the last year. When he’s not working he’s thinking of new story ideas to write down in his journal, and sneaks in some guitar playing when the writer’s block is too much to bear. Easy-going and always looking for the fun in things, Jeric believes in being open-minded and finding that universal connection with others when listening to the stories we all have to share.