"I talk to a lot of teachers now who say they couldn't show some of these things today," Lovett said. "There's an anxiety about discussing something that might be seen as homosexual; there's anxiety about the school mentioning something that would be seen as negative or positive."
Most educators-in-training are too young to remember the heyday of "Free to Be," Lovett said, and they wouldn't recognize a world where girls don't have access to sports and bullying is encouraged. Ideas that seemed so new in "Free to Be ... You and Me" now turn up every day in "Dora the Explorer," "Brave" and long shelves of picture books.
When Lovett plays the music for college students now, she'll sometimes see nods and smiles from those who could sing along, and raised eyebrows from first-timers.
"It was so surprising and so contemporary," Lovett said. "They thought it was so new, and so exciting."
In fact, Lovett said, she's lost several copies to students who borrowed the CD and never brought it back, instead passing it around to others, just the way people heard it all those years ago.