Steven Universe: Mum’s The Word

For a long time I’ve been pondering the roles that mothers play in fiction, especially media aimed towards younger viewers. Sometimes nameless, occasionally silent, women who are either helpless, shrill, or too often dead before any story can begin. These aren’t always terrible roles for characters to play, given the right attention and nurturing they can even help flesh out a character over time or aid in providing the right weight to a situation; however, when it comes to mothers, this is rarely the case. Mothers, primarily biological ones, are there as fuel to burn the protagonist’s motivation while their own arc goes up in smoke. This is something that I feel Steven Universe successfully subverts and, for the most part, dodges quite well.

First and foremost, I know too many people out there who cannot stand their mothers. I don’t, and never will, seek to change their minds with my thoughts on the matter; their own reasons are wholly valid whatever they are. However, from a very personal standpoint, I cannot imagine my life without my own mum. I’m incredibly lucky to have grown up with her around. She never pushed me in the wrong direction, she always made sure that she was around when I needed her most, and it was clear that everything she did was out of love. She never shoved me into specific gender roles; it was always others that dragged me away from what I loved and into the dark pits of toxic masculinity. She encouraged my art from the very beginning, as she believes every parent should be their child’s “No. 1 Fan.” She was the kind of mum who never blamed me whenever I came home crying because of bullies; instead she’d even offer to beat them up for me after my sobbing died down. This is what I see so much of in Steven Universe that it makes my heart swell immensely.

Hearing someone say "I love you" is all the encouragement you need, an important thing the show teaches young audiences.
There’s almost never an inappropriate time to tell someone who loves you, that you love them back.

In the show, the eponymous Steven has grown up surrounded by his father and the three Crystal Gems, Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst. His own mother, Rose Quartz, gave up her “physical form” to give birth to him, leaving her three best friends to look after and care for him. At first glance, this set-up would make me wary. Another dead mother, another bunch of stand-ins, and another boy who must be the chosen hero. Oddly enough, though, I appreciate what this allows to happen throughout most episodes, especially recent ones.

Most importantly, this is treated with a fair amount of heft and sometimes pathos in the series, rather than being accepted as some sort of status quo that’s left undiscussed and unexplored. The Crystal Gems progressively show how distraught they still are over Rose’s death and absence in their lives; she was their leader and their friend as well as confidante and the person who inspired them the most to be themselves. More and more, the show makes the audience realise just how big of a hole she left in her merry band of sentient-light-manipulating-rock-based-aliens.

As well as that, slowly Steven comes to learn more about the people of his home that is Beach City. He’s at first shown being on friendly terms with just a handful of folks, primarily another boy, Peedee, his age who only has his own father and older brother as company. Then the teenagers of Lars and Sadie, who run the local donut shop, are seen without really mentioning their own personal lives, including their family. Soon enough, though, more characters are introduced and more about their home lives are explored. Sadie’s mum makes her lunch every day, the Pizza twins, Kiki and Jenny, have their own father but also their offbeat yet delightful grandmother, and Sour Cream the DJ and his kid brother Onion’s mother Vidalia is shown to be a free spirit. Then you have Connie, Steven’s best friend, whose own mother is strict, responsible, and a bit over-protective.

It’s through these different lenses that both Steven and the audience are treated to a wide variety of women who have their own approaches to raising their children. Sadie’s mother Barbara loves her daughter, but her own eagerness can be a overbearing, yet it comes from her truly believing Sadie can do literally anything in the world. The Pizza twins’ grandmother of Nanefua may be a little spacey and diminutive, but she’s sharp and capable as well as one of the most perceptive people in Beach City. Vidalia’s own slightly-hands-off parenting initially seems a bit too carefree, but it’s shown that this allows her boys to express themselves in their own fashion, while giving her time to express herself and help others when they need her. Meanwhile Connie’s mother, Dr. Priyanka Maheswaran, is a strict authoritarian yet she opens up to her daughter soon enough and admits that she sets such harsh limits and rules because she’s not always around to be there for her. They’re imperfect, but not only are they shown to be capable, they make Steven appreciate what it means to have that sort of influence in one’s life, while also letting him realise how important his life with the Crystal Gems is.

Mothers can be just as scared as we are.
Mothers can be just as scared as we are, and it’s important that they show us this.

At first he accepts everything they say and do at face value, however like any child he begins to doubt and rebuff them when obstacles arise that throw their motivations into a much different light. Pearl’s own neurotic nature and obsession with him still being a part of his mother has been demonstrated to be something that bothers Steven on occasion and has sometimes even put him in harm’s way. Garnet is playful and willing to spend more time with Steven, but she very visibly maintains her distance and she tends to divert any of his more probing inquiries. Amethyst also acts more like his friend, a sibling, than any sort of maternal figure, preferring to have fun rather than focus on any issue he might face.

The show doesn’t just let this rest on the surface level, though, as it pushes farther into why the Gems act this way, showing rather than telling, letting both Steven and the viewers digest these motivations more thoroughly. Pearl misses her friend and leader, hinting at unrequited feelings for Rose, and with Steven being the last remaining physical piece of her, it’s hard to both look away from and face him at times, which Steven learns to accept but also use to help comfort Pearl when she’s most vulnerable. Garnet also knows just how out of their depth the Gems are at raising a child. She’s making do as de facto head of the group and her having to play mum takes its toll every now and then, but Steven is able to prove himself capable enough to lighten her load and give her more of an outlet to be herself. Amethyst is also just trying to find her place in the world; she’s just as much of a kid to the other Gems as Steven is, and she finds common ground because of that, which at least gives him more of an equal to bounce off of rather than another walled-off parental figure.

Throughout all of this, Rose has a surprising amount of presence despite having been gone for quite some time before the first episode. It’s mostly through scattered remnants of her past that we get more glimpses of what kind of person she was, but they are such important pieces to a sizeable puzzle. Her trump card that she left behind is activated by a corny phrase that Greg, Steven’s human father, would always say to keep positive; her own secret armoury relies on Steven pulling funny faces and being tickled to reveal itself, plus the Crystal Gem weapon and powers of hers that are bequeathed to Steven are a shield, protective bubble, and the power to heal. So before even her first proper appearance outside of statues and paintings, we know how much of a fun-loving and caring person she was to all those around her. And her own final words she leaves to Steven stress the importance of life, and love, and beauty, not only in the world around him but also himself. It’s bittersweet, Steven is left with some wonderful lessons to live by as well as a patched-together family his mother trusted with her life, but he also mostly realises how important this all is when he’s exposed to other families and their own mothers, still alive and well. It doesn’t end there, though, because what I adore so much is how Steven then brings all of what he’s learnt to others, primarily those we see without mothers much like himself.

When the person you came from loves you, there's almost nothing that can stop you.
When the person you came from loves you, there’s almost nothing that can stop you.

Peedee the fry cook’s son, Lars the arrogant teen, and Buck the mayor’s son are all exposed to more of Steven as the show progresses. At first, Peedee is a slightly morose kid; he’s depressed that he’s stuck working the lowest rung of the family business and that the joys of his toddler youth have waned in such a short amount of time. However, Steven encourages him, never stops trying to cheer him up, and helps him appreciate what he has, a family that loves him and wants him around, while also giving him the courage to demand for more from his dad.

Then you have Lars, bitter and incessant with projecting some amount of bravado constantly, a stereotypical teenaged boy who is only looking out for himself. It’s fairly obvious though that he’s incredibly self-conscious, clinging to the “Cool Kids” of Buck, Jenny, and Sour Cream, and embarrassed by Steven’s sunny disposition, even though everyone else enjoys it. It’s only after a near-death experience with moss that Steven makes Lars realise that even something that can be gross and off-putting has beauty inside waiting to bloom, when given the right nurture and care, while reminding him that he needs to see the value in himself before he can grow any further.

With Buck, smooth and detached while also cynical and deadpan, he readily accepts Steven as a counterbalance to his own perspective and attitude. However, he has his own issues with his father, constantly frustrated and put-off by his antics as the sycophant mayor of Beach City. He even takes this out on Steven’s dad, turning an earnest drawing Steven did of Greg into more of a meme to spread around town. It requires Steven doing the exact same thing to Buck for him to realise that it’s okay to be a fan of your parent, as much as they’re one of yours, and to not twist anyone else’s own earnest love, especially their art, against them for the sake of petty endeavours.

Frankly, I just love what Steven Universe does with mothers as a whole, both in their presence and absence. They’re skilled and capable without sacrificing their own individual personalities or succumbing to more masculine-coded attributes for the sake of making them strong. Most importantly, they feel like actual people, not just through quirks, but their own relatable motivations and beliefs. They love their children, and that’s what’s most important, and the show allows for them to further develop that love and these relationships as they develop more trust and sensitivity towards their children’s needs. They start as two-dimensional figures, but slowly begin to morph into more fully realised individuals who have their own imperfections to work on. All in all, through them this show has made me appreciate and love my mum so much more, and I can only hope others feel the same way.

Jules Low

Jules Low

Staff Writer. Jules Low is a genderfluid trans lady located in Australia. She's a Fine Arts graduate, freelance illustrator, lover of Super Sentai and Power Rangers, self-proclaimed Professor of Zoids and Digimon, raving Halo fan, and the sort of person who reaches the maximum level of characters allowed on World of Warcraft.

6 thoughts on “Steven Universe: Mum’s The Word

  1. I guess Homer Simpson is just as much of a kid as his children? Oh wait he’s not, but he’s very childish but I guess we are so used to- Is he as much of a child as his kids for Marge to take care of, he’s extremely childish but he’s also a grown man isn’t he? Amethyst is a great person or gem, she’s very childish and silly and yes she is finding herself. Why do you feel the need to infatantalize her? Why is she less of a mother than Garnet and Pearl, just because they are more responsible? Gems are born as adults and Amethyst as lived for thousands of years and gems aren’t born infants. She is not just as much of a child as Steven. She is a grown adult and better than homer simpson but men get to be childish even in their twenties and they get to irresponsble without being thought of- Is Homer Simpson thought of as just an older brother to Bart instead of a complex, abusive father who has a very childish side and never wants to grow up? Of course Amethyst isn’t abusive but she’s still finding herself even as a 5000 or 6000 year old gem woman, I don’t care if she shapeshifted herself ten years ago to look like a child or feels like a child. Don’t infantalize her! Even if she’s irresponsible compared to Garnet and Pearl, she’s still as much as a mother as Pearl and Garnet, even if she’s an imperfect mother. We are so used to seeing perfect mature mothers like Pearl, Garnet and Marge from the Simpsons that we don’t allow mothers the same immaturity that we allow Homer Simpson because we don’t expect adult women to be so immature in their thirties or adults that act like children when they are thousands of years old, or non-binary women at least, we don’t expect them to be mature nor do we allow them to be. Women or non-binary women are expected to be very mature at ten years old. A woman who was abused by boys when she was a young girl, was told by her teacher that she should be the better one, she was being abused by boys and the boys weren’t scolded only she was. The ten year old or preteen was pressured to be an mature child, when she was a fucking child and victim blamed for being abused by other male kids because little boys with be abusive mean little boys right? Also men in their thirties like homer simpson are allowed to be irresponsible bumbling dads, because they are men and men can be as irressponsible, mean, childish as they please because grown men will be men right?

    No Amethyst might still be finding herself, she might still be childish just like Homer Simpson but abusive of course like he is to Bart, but she is an grown adult even if she acts like a irresponsible child. She is not a child. She is six thousand years old but of course younger than Pearl and Garnet who have also lived even more thousands of years. These gems are thousands of years old. There is such a thing as bumbling mothers who might be irressponsible and silly but deep down they mean well despite being so flawed. I guess only fathers are allowed to be that right? Like Homer Simpson? Mothers must be perfect and not bumbling lest they be infantalized and be treated like children when they are not children. Amethyst is not a child! She is an imperfect, well-meaning and complex mother. Steven has five or six mothers Ruby, Sapphire, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Rose Quartz and they are all equally his mothers. They all his mothers, all of them. She is not less of an parent then Pearl and Rose and Garnet, she might be a bit silly, but she’s an adult, an imperfect adult just like Pearl is imperfect. Just because she’s more irresponsible doesn’t mean she’s less of a mother, why don’t mothers get to be silly and irresponsible like the Homer Simpsons of the world? I hope of course that they wouldn’t be abusive like them, but women have to be more serious and responsible at such an early age and have so much more higher expectations placed upon them then fathers, little boys and face so much more stress and responsibilities even at an early age than mothers and little girls are. Even if Amethyst is an imperfect parent she’s still as valid as a parent as any of the other six mothers.

    Don’t infantalize her. She’s thousands of years old and Amethyst is awesome and complex but she’s not a child. Just because a female adult is or non-binary lady adult is childish doesn’t mean that they are an child!

    I have been told there is even more pressure on black girls at say the age of ten, they get to be kids even less than white girls and white girls and boys get to be kids till their twenties and get so much sympathy. Even if Amethyst is very imperfect she is still as great a mother as the other five mothers.

  2. “Pearl misses her friend and leader, hinting at unrequited feelings for Rose, and with Steven being the last remaining physical piece of her, it’s hard to both look away from and face him at times, which Steven learns to accept but also use to help comfort Pearl when she’s most vulnerable.”

    It’s also possible that Pearl the non-binary lesbian and Rose Quartz had requainted feelings for Rose Quartz. But I guess Greg Universe fixes the possible bisexual/pansexual nonbinary Rose Quartz when she hooks up with Greg. She must only like men because men are superior to women or something or perhaps Rose Quartz, cannot possibly like boys and nonbinary girls right? Sorry for being sarcastic but there’s multiple possibilities. Rose Quartz has had a lot of flings with humans possibly of multiple genders, they nearly kiss when fusing. Why is it unrequainted? Pearl and Rose Quartz could have an open relationship though Pearl seems to prefer closed relationships, but since Pearls are just pets meant for decoration back on home world, Pearl subconsiously possibly thought for thousands of years- Even after she stayed on earth to rebel with Rose Quartz, she possibly thought that Rose Quartz should do whatever she wants and even though she loves her and wants a closed relationship, Rose Quartz is of an higher social status I am guessing on home world. So Rose Quartz should be able to have an open relationship with Pearl and have all those flings. They have a very sexual dance before they fuse and Rose Quartz’s hair covers Pearl’s face and you notice how she leans into Pearl before they fuse. It’s possible that maybe Rose Quartz’ wasn’t her Pearl, we don’t know who she was made for. If Pearl was made to be a fancy gem, why did Jasper think she was defective and who was she meant for? Did Rose Quartz, the amazing possibly bisexual, open relationship general who rebelled against her home world dislike things like her possible former lover Pearl’s social status, and dislike home world ideas about fusion? Rose Quartz though might still retain subconsiously things like thinking humans aren’t as amazing and intelligent as gems, even if she thinks they are cute, amazing and should be protected at all costs. Like men think women should be protected, fragile, not as capable as men. Rose Quartz might have held humans a bit on a pedestal like men hold women on a pedestal, thinking humans aren’t as complex, capable and awesome as gems even if she thought they were awesome and their lives were worth something. She had an imperfect love for humans, just like she had a possible imperfect possibly requainted romantic love for Pearl. I suppose we are used to non-binary lesbians being tragic and not getting their love requainted and not getting happily ever afters and we never see lesbian or bisexual lady disney princesses. And usually queer ladies get fixed. Do you know it’s possible that Rose Quartz had an requainted love for Pearl? Although she might have been subconsiously classist. Did Rose Quartz if she had a requainted love for Pearl, break up with Greg Universe or did she retain an open relationship with Pearl that they might have already had for centuries? If Rose had a romantic relationship with Pearl for centuries, why does everyone think Pearl is the bad person when Greg noticed they danced very sexually and kissed in front of them? Rose’s hair censured the kiss during the fusion, maybe you should watch that episode again. Pearl was right to be a bit jealous and edgy if they were in an romantic relationship even if she wasn’t being honest with Rose and didn’t tell her she wanted to keep it closed. Pearl is the one mean to Greg, not Greg stealing Rose possibly away from Pearl. And of course once Rose gets sight of a man, she’ll dump Pearl for him and not have two lovers at once. In a lot of films it seems like the woman who was with another woman, eventually ends up with the guy because guys are superior love interests and their bisexuality is probably either just a phase or they aren’t bisexual at all and they are a fixed lesbian because that’s every straight man’s sick fantasy. And of course we sympathize completely with Greg, while he’s an awesome dad and character, everyone turns on Pearl and thinks she’s the tragic lesbian because that’s what we are so used to. Even in Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura’s best friend doesn’t get a girl at all, she isn’t owed Sakura but she’s not allowed to be happy with another girl nor does it seem like Sakura’s best friend’s rich mother is allowed to be happy with another girl. Tragic lesbians, queer ladies in general always have their love unrequainted if they are in love with ladies.

    Why not say hinting at romantic love for Rose? We don’t know if Pearl’s love for Rose was unrequainted or not and the whole fandom thinks that her love for her is unrequainted there isn’t multiple possibilities. Also a large section of the fandom is seemingly turning on Rose for being evil incarnate because she has some biases she needs to unlearn, as if a lot of the fandom doesn’t need to unlearn tragic lesbian, unrequainted lesbian, fixing lesbian or queer women stereotypes and biases and biases for Greg Universe. Everyone wants to fix the nonbinary lesbian Pearl and make her go with a guy. We can sympathize with both Greg and Pearl, but it seems like in the love triangle that Pearl is the bad guy, and Greg does nothing wrong even though he might have been entering in an relationship with Rose, Rose might have been in an relationship with Pearl already. Greg didn’t even ask if Pearl was okay with it at all, if Pearl and Rose weren’t together, it’s not like Pearl’s entitled to Rose but there seemed to be something there to me. Greg didn’t seem to ask if Rose was in an relationship at all, he even admits he jumped right in and- It just seems like everyone has a bias towards the straight guy. Pearl seems to have some mental disorders PTSD maybe, depression, deep grief and she seems to depersonalize or disassiote a shit ton whenever she thinks of Pearl. This fandom needs to unlearn it’s biases towards straight guys, it’s biphobia, it’s homophobia and it ableism. It’s racism too as lots of people like to draw Garnet who’s obviously black as lighter skinned and white. Everyone sides with Greg Universe in the love triangle because in rom coms and teen films the queer girl always gets fixed, bisexual guys will turn gay because men are superior to women and superior lovers to women apparently. Also bisexual women will turn straight because males are better lovers than women apparently. Do you know romantic relationships can be open and that sometimes bisexual women return feelings towards lesbian women and bisexuality isn’t a phase and bisexual nonbinary women aren’t sluts who will be fixed by men? Or non-binary lesbians, Pearl is an non-binary lesbians. There is a whole spectrum of non-binary genders.

    A person told me, Pearl isn’t a lesbian she not even a gender. As if someone cannot have a fluid gender, cannot be agender one day and a woman the next. As if someone cannot be multiple genders at the same time and as if non-binary lesbians cannot exist. Lets erase all the nonbinary lesbians and bisexuals, as they shouldn’t exist. We should all favour men and straight maleness because men are superior or something.

    I am tired of the homophobia in this fandom, I am tired of people jumping on my headcanons of people being bisexual or lesbian and attacking me. I am tired of the homophobia and biphobia in this fandom. It irritates me so much. I am a bisexual genderfluid individual. Genderfluid is a non-binary identity. Before someone leaps upon me and says ‘oh Rebecca Sugar meant genderless or that they are genderless’. Does she know the difference between gender and sex? Did she just mean they don’t have a biological sex? Are you nonbinary and should you be speaking over non-binary genders and did you know that there are multiple nonbinary genders not just agender which I sometimes am?

    You obviously are used to the tragic queer woman narrative aren’t you and default really quickly to Rose Quartz must only like men. What if she liked multiple genders of humans and not just all her lovers being guys?

    Do you think that non-binary lesbians don’t deserve to be happy in cartoons and bisexual non-binary lesbians don’t get to exist in cartoons?

    People really need to read up on multiple trans indenitities and non-binary ones that are under the trans umbrella and not speak over people who are fucking non-binary. I liked your article, about mothers and stuff and Steven’s relationship to mothers but why didn’t you mention multiple possibilities when you said hinting and unrequainted? It could also be hinting on requainted, maybe requainted but broke up, or Rose could have two partners at once? Is your imagination that limited?

    I will read the rest of the article but that line really irritated me. I think most of the fandom really hates queer women and only want queer relationships to be subtextual not explicit. If Korrasami was made more explicit at the end of the Legend of Korra there might have been more biphobic, queerphobic outrage. People only started to accept them as a couple, most people were blind to it and thought it was just friendship, and lots of people whinned about wanting a single lady to not be romantic or whatever- And I can only understand that if you are aromantic, a lot of the people I am talking about were straight girls and boys who whinned about wanting a queer woman of colour not in an relationship. A lot of African Americans and African American women have commented that in the media a lot of people seem to want to ship no one with black women, because they should be strong independent women which seems to be code for not wanting black women to be competition or see them in interracial relationships because black women would be compeition or something. So I guess the ending reaction to the Legend of Korra was both racist and queerphobic. Anyway people were still pissed even when the creators said that Asami Sato and Korra were bisexuals. The default idea seems to be that Rose Quartz only likes men and not multiple genders, people who aren’t non-binary seem to talk over non-binary people like myself and say that the gems cannot be bisexual or lesbian to erase lesbianism and bisexuality/pansexuality or some kind of swinging two ways kind of sexuality.

    There have been tweets that have suggested that Rose’s and Pearl’s relationship was actually romantic.

    This link is from a storyboard artist who thinks that Rose and Pearl are romantic. I think you might actually be queerphobic.

    Another source from someone who works on Steven Universe who thinks it was romantic

    Why do you think it was unrequainted exactly? There are more people who thought that the relationship was romantic.

    This just seems like a large portion of the fandom is so queerphobic that it’s irritating. Even if you are queer yourself, why the fuck do you default to Pearl being an tragic unrequainted lesbian thing going on? Why do you want to erase Rose Quartz’s possible bisexuality? Hmm? Why? Why are you and the fandom so queerphobic? The article, the fist part was good but that line really irritated me. I am sorry for being so rude to you but I have seen so much of this same assumption from the whole of fandom. It irritates me so much, maybe I am taking this out on you and singling you out. I am really sorry, I am just so irritated with the tragic lesbian or queer lady trope and the bias for straight guys. Unless I guess Greg has had romantic crushes on men in the past, I suppose it’s possible he and his son are bisexual. I am thinking Rose is probably bisexual or pansexual, maybe Greg and Steven are too.

    When I said I thought that most of the village of Beach City seems queer, someone said to me ‘how do you know Lars is bisexual when he only thought that she was a lady?’ How do we know that? Ronaldo was attracted to Stevonnie and even called them they, how do we know their gender, Stevonnie could be determined and how do we know Lars couldn’t be attracted to multiple genders and genders inbetween? People default to him being straight. So much fucking heternormativity in this fandom. Straightness is divine to people in the fandom isn’t it? Straightness is holy? No fuck that queerness is holy and homo all the way!

    1. Maybe you should check Jules’ bio.

      I’m sorry for the unfortunate times you’ve experienced in the Steven Universe fandom, but this is not the place to dump all of your frustrated supposition.

  3. I’ve seen a few essays touch on the portrayal of mothers in Steven Universe, but this is the first I’ve seen anyone discuss how Steven interacts with characters that do not have mother figures of their own. Both Peedee and Buck have been shown to have supportive fathers, though Lars remains a mystery. Considering the emphasis the show has placed on parental figures as a whole, I wonder if it might be revealed that Lars’ family is either unsupportive or never around. We’ve gotten a lot of episodes dedicated to his character development for it not to have a reason.

    It’s also nice to see someone bring attention to the undesirable traits of certain characters (namely Lars and Pearl) while staying unbiased. Pearl, in my opinion, fits the typical mother mold the most out of the Gems, what with being the one who frets and dotes on Steven the most, not to mention arguably the most feminine of the Gems. And then we find out that Garnet, the largest and strongest (two stereotypically masculine traits) is the most affectionate and motherly of the three. I know that we are supposed to view Amethyst as a mother figure, but I agree that she fits the role of an older sister more accurately. I’m conflicted on whether I want her to continue within this role or to become more authoritative.


    1. I’ve been very curious about Lars’ home situation, too! We’ve barely gotten any snippets that could help flesh this out, but from what we’ve seen he seems to be fairly free to do what he wants, what with inviting the Cool Kids over and having Sadie stay the whole night to play games with. I mostly just pity Lars at this point, he reminds me way too much of myself when I was an angry teenager.

      I also think Pearl is the most motherly because we’ve seen in his dream that Steven views her has his mum the most. His own perception of the Crystal Gems is fairly well out-lined in his dream sequence where he sees Amethyst as the rowdy sister, Pearl as his doting mother, and Garnet as the coolest person ever (which is more than fair).

      I’ve always seen Amethyst as the side of any mum who should be their child’s friend as much as a maternal figure. Kids need someone to laugh and play with as equals, not only just dote on them the way Pearl does or indulge in their whims like Garnet. And especially for kids like Steven who are at home a lot, parents end up filling this role. I also think there would be something to be gained if Amethyst were developed more in line as the other two, but also something lost, because she’s such a good and relatable example of an older sibling. She gives great advice on occasion, and let’s Steven be himself more than the rest as well.

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