Oh, Snap! Rewatching That's So Raven as an Adult Is an Even Better Experience
Growing up, That's So Raven was one of my favorite shows on Disney Channel. I loved seeing myself represented in a positive light, I adored Raven Baxter's sense of fashion, and, honestly, I probably got some of my quirkiness from her. To this day, my older sisters and I randomly quote our favorite lines from the series (e.g. "Ya nasty" and "Quiet! Mama's trying to relax!")
Thankfully, Disney+ has allowed me to revisit That's So Raven in all its four-season glory. I've been binging the comedy like no one's business and laughing as if I've never seen it before. My feelings about certain things have even shifted a bit now that I'm watching the show as an adult. Like, I kind of admire Cory's hustle — the kid is an entrepreneur. And the way they address important themes, such as racism, body image, and climate change, fits right in with how we discuss those topics more often and openly nowadays. Keep reading to see why I have a newfound appreciation for the series!
Raven Is Unapologetically Confident and Quirky
One thing I love about Raven is how confident she is. As an adult who's a lot more aware of social faux pas, I find Raven's unabashed quirkiness very endearing and refreshing. Recently, it's been a fun reminder that it's OK to be a little outlandish. Whether she's strutting down the school hallway in a new outfit she created, sporadically dancing, or wearing some zany disguise, Raven doesn't mind showing off her winning personality and comedic genius. I can't help but wonder if some of my own offbeat mannerisms stem from watching That's So Raven so much as a child.
Cory's Ability to Secure the Bag Is Admirable
When I was younger, I thought Cory's greed was nothing but a sordid obsession with money. Now that I have to pay rent, bills, and student loans, I can't help but applaud Cory for his hustle. I mean, creating a soda formula to sell at school after sugary drinks are banned? Throwing a house party while his parents are out of town and charging a cover fee? Keeping his money in a secret safe with a security system? This kid invented securing the bag, and I respect it.
Tanya and Victor Baxter Are the Coolest, Most Hilarious Parents
I loved Raven's parents when I was younger, but I also thought they were so embarrassing. Seriously, I felt secondhand humiliation when they did "the bump" at Raven's party. But now, I think Victor and Tanya are all charm. They really care about their kids and know when to show empathy and give tough love. You can tell the Baxter family are a tight-knit bunch, and I see so many similarities between them and my own family.
Raven and Cory's Sibling Dynamic Is Actually Adorable
Although Raven and Cory are usually at odds, it's obvious they love each other. When Raven has a vision that Cory's birthday party is a bust, she tries her best to make sure it goes well (even though she ends up awkwardly dancing with an iguana). And who can forget when Raven dresses up as "E.R." to save Cory from doing a dangerous skateboarding stunt? Cory even helps Raven avoid Alana at school after she ticks off the mean girl. Despite their sometimes contentious dynamic, Raven and Cory are two peas in a pod. It reminds me of my sibling bonds and how we can go from arguing to making one another laugh in a matter of seconds.
A Lot of Raven's Outfits Have Stood the Test of Time
Since Raven is a fashion designer on the series, it should come as no surprise that her outfits are always on point. And while some ensembles are admittedly dated (especially the ones with all the sequins and bedazzled details), others are too cute to leave in the early 2000s. You can't tell me an Instagram influencer wouldn't rock Raven's pink faux-fur jacket in a heartbeat. I sure would!
Raven, Chelsea, and Eddie Have a True Friendship
Raven's friendship with Chelsea and Eddie has its rocky moments, but at the end of the day, they always encourage one another. An important element of their friendship is how they allow one another to be their own person without judgment. Chelsea and Eddie keep Raven's secret about being a psychic, Raven and Eddie support Chelsea's passion for climate change and animal rights, and Raven and Chelsea champion Eddie's athletic and musical interests. And whenever Raven has some wacky plan that involves even wackier costumes, Chelsea and Eddie are almost always down to be a part of it.
Another significant nuance is how Chelsea, the only white person in the friend group, is a great ally. She helps Raven expose a racist retail manager, and when she visits Raven's family in the country, she fits right in. Those might seem like minor plot details, but it's important to show people, especially kids, that sort of interracial respect and camaraderie.
Raven Is Socially Aware and Stands Up For What's Right
When I was younger, I remember watching Raven take a stand against things like racism (after she isn't hired for a job because she's Black) and body shaming (after she's told not to model her own design at a fashion show). At the time, I was happy to see a children's television program tackle such issues. Now, I find myself feeling even more appreciative of those portrayals, recognizing that they made me, as well as other young viewers, more cognizant of the injustices in the world.
I also love that Raven stands up for what's right even in smaller ways. When she sees an African foreign-exchange student being teased because of his clothes, she hilariously roasts everyone who makes fun of him. And when she learns that there's a rift between her immediate family and her ménage living in the country — yes, the iconic "Country Cousins" saga — she makes an effort to bring them all together. No matter what, Raven speaks her mind and doesn't back down from a challenge, which makes her one of Disney Channel's best role models.