September 12th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Mentors, Role Models, Peers, Mother-Daughter Emotional Osmosis
“You’re lucky you got my hair, it’s gorgeous,” I say while I am curling her hair before school. The last six months is the first time in her life she has allowed me any access at all to her hair, because she wants more intricate styles than she can do for herself.
“Yeah, well I got Dad’s teeth,” Ainsley said.
“They’re straight and you won’t need braces,” I said.
“You also got my eyes, which are really beautiful,” I continued.
“Quit bragging about yourself,” she chastised.
“Hey, I’m bragging about you. You’ll notice as you get older that girls will criticize themselves to death, “Oh, I hate my teeth, I hate my hair, I hate my . . . whatever. Until they really hate themselves”
“Demi Lovato hates herself,” she interrupts. “She hates her show and she hates herself and she got fat and all the kids at school made fun of her, so she started throwing up and she hates herself now.”
“How do you know all this?” I asked.
“All the kids at school saw it on the Internet,” she explained.
“Well, now you see why it’s important to look in the mirror and see what’s good – like your hair and your eyes – instead of listening to what the other kids say or focusing on what you think might be bad,” I say.
“Yeah,” she concedes. “My hair is beautiful.”
“I think those kids have way to much access to the Internet,” I say.
I stand back to look at my hair masterpiece.
“Why’s it all messy!?!” she demands.
Then we have an argument about her talking to me like I’m “the help” instead of her mother doing her a favor.
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October 21st, 2010 — Media, Marketing and Advertising
Hanging out on Facebook I’ve seen some racy photos of Glee cast members a little naked in GQ Magazine. I saw it first on Revolution of Real Women and then my good friends at Shaping Youth and Pigtail Pals.
The photos were . . .
You can see what they are.
But, what I found most confounding are the comments on Facebook from all the parents who are letting their tweens and teens watch this show.
Revolution of Real Women writes, “A show that has (mostly) been a positive influence in the media… a show that is SO popular they haven’t needed to look for controversial ways to get press… has stepped into sleazetown. Shame on the producers of Glee for allowing this.”
What? I’m a Gleek. I enjoy the show and love how they handle controversy. But, to me the show IS controversy itself. It takes the most controversial aspects of American life, puts it in a high school setting around show tunes and plays with it.
What is uncontroversial about . . . .
- Two high school cheerleaders whose proclaimed goal it is to sleep with every boy on the football team, and who fool around with each other when the boys are busy. Sex is a toy for both of them and there are no feelings involved. Brittany, most recently, took a wheelchair-confined nerd’s virginity and caused his heart to break. (Those photos are “sexualization of girls,” but the story lines of these two characters are somehow not?)
- Will Schuester’s wife attempted to steal/buy/adopt/extort (I was never sure which) his student’s baby last year, while faking a pregnancy.
- The Jewish mohawked bad-boy fooled around with the Jewish girl, instead of his usual “anyone he can sleep with,” in an attempt to please his parents.
- The head cheerleader got pregnant, lied about who the father was, and then gave the baby up for adoption.
- The head Gleek herself, yes the one pictured in the above photos (which do no justice to her character) is really an ambitious performer with big, big dreams and not a lot of ethics around what she’ll do or who she’ll use to achieve her dreams, has two gay dads and last year found her mother who turned out to be ill-equipped to carry on a relationship with her.
- The stereotypical gay boy is openly gay, but continues to call his sort-of-step-brother at homophobe for drawing a boundary that said, “I’m straight and you’re freaking me out every time you try to sleep with me.”
- The Cheer Coach, the hysterical Sue Sylvester, is opportunistic and downright evil and fills every conversation with sexist remarks, racist remarks and whatever you call inappropriate and insulting remarks to handicapped people and everyone else.
- In every episode someone is getting bullied, the adults bully the adults and the children bully the children and there is a lot of cross-over between them.
What surprises me is that week after week people can watch all this “high school” drama, this fun and campy theater of the insane, and believe they are watching good, clean television fit for young children or teenagers.
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October 18th, 2010 — Media, Marketing and Advertising
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are spending seven hours in front of television or on computers, reports an article on HealthDay News. The study includes television, cell phones, hand-held devices like a DS and the Internet. The study reports that in 1999 children were only averaging three hours. (Fewer devices, one would imagine.)
The concern is that children who are sitting and playing games or watching television and movies are not outside exercising, playing a role in the obesity epidemic. (The same could be said for a bookworm child.)
Another concern is the inappropriate content – sex, violence and gender messaging – a child spending that many hours as a “captive audience” is consuming.
Research has shown that high levels of media use are associated with school problems, attention difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.
Pediatricians are encouraged to ask media consumption questions at well-visits. Parents are encouraged to get media sources out of children’s bedrooms, encourage their children to “go out and play,” and be good media role models.
No one is holding out for a media-free world, but parents are encouraged to make sure their children are “media literate.” Children should understand what role media plays, know how to choose appropriate media verses damaging media, have the ability to distinguish between advertising and content, and be able to interpret the underlying messages in all forms of media.
“A media-educated person will be able to limit his or her use of media; make positive media choices; select creative alternatives to media consumption; develop critical thinking and viewing skills; and understand the political, social, economic and emotional implications of all forms of media. Results of recent research suggest that media education may make young people less vulnerable to negative aspects of media exposure.”
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July 26th, 2010 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Media, Marketing and Advertising
June 21st, 2010 — Media, Marketing and Advertising
Sex Sells *Unfortunately we sell jeans.
Just walking through a Denver mall and saw this covering a massive store front. Thought you’d be interested. Part of me thinks it’s pretty clever the other part just can’t believe it’s come to this.
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