Your Body Is Not A Disneyland, Part 6: The Media Machine
Posted on 14, July 2010
So, it’s been a few weeks, and I hope you did your homework that I provided in my last post. I, too, have continued to pay attention to what I have seen and the sexual innuendo on various media sites goes from the very subtle to the obvious. The question I have is, “How many of us actively look at this and discriminate the content we are viewing and how that content affects our attitudes, emotions and beliefs?” Even more, how does that content affect our kids?
I would like to provide you with a few examples that I have seen in the past two days. My daughter is four years old, and she likes to get on the computer and play on some of the dress-up sites. These sites are geared toward kids who can use the mouse and drag and drop clothing, shoes, jewelry… In other words some are very young kids who are learning to use the computer and may not have proper parent supervision. There are hundreds of these sites on the internet and many of them come with ads attached. The range of characters are from cartoon characters, to fairies, to young girls, teens and adults and actors and actresses. I am very conscious of how many of these characters are portrayed, and while there are many that I don’t allow my daughter to play on, still there are many more that have “Zwinky” ads on there that have many cartoon type girls with cleavage. These ads run on the side of many of these dress-up sites, and I talk to my daughter about these sites and that I don’t want her to feel that she has to look or dress a certain way to get attention.
The second example is related to Eureka a show that I was watching on the SyFy channel. This show is more of a technology-fantasy type show, and in one of the scenes, a woman is proposed to by a man, and in the process of her opening up the ring, she is wearing a tight-fitting tank top. The camera puts the center of the shot on her breasts with the ring to the side. The camera then has to pan up and to the right to focus on her face. What caught my attention to this shot was that the camera had to move so abruptly to the right to refocus on her face that I rewound to see the layout of the shot to really notice how quickly and subtly this was done.
Finally, the most obvious selling of innuendo was on America’s Most Talented. There is a female artist named Maricar, who in one of the shows did her act in a devil’s costume, purposely accentuating her bountiful cleavage. As if her artistry act wasn’t enough, they continued to fit her in to many of the segue shots after that with other contestants and then next to the host at the end of the show.
Dwayne the Bathtub, We’re Dwowning…
These were only three short examples, and I did not cover magazines, news shows, prime time television, kids shows and cartoons, commercials, billboard, advertising, suggestive wording and phrasing, adult-focused internet content (not pornography)… and the list goes on. As we know, sex sells, and often what it is selling has so little to do what the product.
We are inundated in sexual content, and we don’t even realize it. Now please understand, I realize that we are sexual beings, but how early and how much of our lives need to be inundated in sexually suggestive content. Remember, I believe the human body is a work of art, and is something to be appreciated, however, I do feel that there is a difference between appreciating the human body and selling sexual content. We may have become numb to it, but do our kids need to become numb to it also, and at what cost to them? If these patterns in our society are going to change, we have to choose to stop buying.
Up next… Part 7, The Dying Breed