Bandit Heeler reading a story to Bluey and Bingo in Bluey
(ABC Kids)

‘Bluey’ Dad Facebook Group Demonstrates the Show’s Positive Impact on Men

The children’s show Bluey has proven to be one of those rare shows that boasts near-universal appeal to audiences of all ages. Recently, a wholesome dads’ Facebook group demonstrated how the show has even managed to positively influence adult men.

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One of the reasons Bluey is so popular is because of its positive depiction of family. Not only do the kids, Bingo and Bluey, provide great examples for children to follow as they learn major life lessons, but their parents, Bandit Heeler (David McCormack) and Chilli Heeler (Melanie Zanetti), also set great examples for real-life parents to follow. Bandit has especially attracted the attention of viewers because positive father figures aren’t always easy to find on TV, even in children’s shows. A lot of times, fathers are depicted as lazy or oblivious when it comes to their children or are simply absent.

In Bluey, though, Bandit takes on a very active role in parenting. He constantly encourages his daughters’ imagination and takes whatever games and worlds they dream up very seriously. Bandit also shows that it is possible for men to have a work-life balance, as he is passionate about his job as an archeologist but still plays an active role in child-raising and housekeeping duties. He never balks at changing his daughters’ nappies, making dinner for the family, or making whatever choices necessary to give his daughters the best life possible. Bandit is a stellar example of fatherhood, and many men have actually started to take note of this.

Men create wholesome Bluey-inspired Facebook group

On Facebook, a private group has started garnering attention. Bandits: The Bluey Group for Dads has a whopping 94.2k members and seeks to be a rare refuge from “the worst of the internet.” The group serves a variety of purposes, as members can discuss Bluey and parenting issues or seek advice and support as they navigate fatherhood. Many of the men in the group strive to learn from Bandit when it comes to fatherhood.

One of the group’s members, Lucas Siegel, told Yahoo Entertainment that he was inspired by Bandit’s persistent attempts to “get better for himself and as a father and a partner.” He also emphasized the importance of Bluey’s depiction of play between Bandit and his daughters. Siegel stated, “There’s not enough talk [in parenting books] about remembering to look at the world through your kids’ eyes.” A moderator for the group, Timothy Roy, also likes to remind members that Bandit isn’t an impossible standard to reach. After all, Bluey episodes are only seven minutes long, and even busy fathers can start their journey to be more involved by simply being “present” with their kids “for seven minutes at a time.”

However, the group is much more than fathers striving to be like Bandit. It has become a unique community where fathers in every situation can meet and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. The group emphasizes that it welcomes all fathers, including “biological fathers, step, foster, adoptive, expecting, gay, trans, non-binary, family caregivers in parental roles.” In addition to being welcoming, the group prioritizes the safety of its members. The group boasts 30 moderators, keeps messages private, and ensures posts receive approval before going live. Men can post about any topic because they know they’re safe and there’s no toxic masculinity or fear of being humiliated for getting vulnerable.

While the group is lighthearted and often includes men sharing funny and relatable parenting stories and struggles, the safe environment also makes it possible for some serious discussion to arise, including about topics like relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and career struggles. When Siegel learned that his child was having some developmental issues, he found the group to be a huge source of support, which aided him and his partner in feeling less alone. Members like Siegel often express their wishes that there were more positive places like this on the internet for men.

How a Bluey Facebook group is inspiring men to be better

Ultimately, Bandits: The Bluey Group For Dads is much more than a typical fan group or discussion forum. It’s a rare, safe place for dads who are doing wonderful work destigmatizing men supporting each other, reaching out for help, and normalizing fathers who are far more involved in their children’s lives than previous generations. Given how frequently the internet is used to push toxic masculinity and the “red pill” and incel communities, it’s quite heartwarming to learn of a wholesome group of almost 100,000 men creating a safe space for fathers who want to be more like Bandit.

The internet certainly needs more of these spaces for fathers and men in general, where they can take the initiative to instigate change without being dissuaded or attacked by other men. Hopefully, Bandits: The Bluey Group For Dads inspires similar internet communities to sprout up that normalize men seeking support and striving to improve themselves.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.