You know that idea we have that it’s media and entertainment that is teaching our young people how to behave? We blame Miley Cyrus when we see young girls twerking or criticize television shows and commercials that sexualize girls or women? Well, I am calling bullshit on that.
This morning I was at a coffee shop and watched as a grown woman proceeded to teach her friend’s small daughter to make the pouty-duck-face expression with the promise of a kiss if she did. The girl, who is probably about a year old, was starting to demand her mother’s attention and the mother’s friend proceeded to say: “Do you want a kiss? Do this; make this face…”. And then proceeded to make the Exaggerated-Angelina-Jolie-esque-pouting-duck-face (seriously, who thought this was a sexy expression?) face for the child to ape.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t thought much about who in a child’s life teaches them to act like idiots to gain affection or attention. But to watch a grown woman instruct a child to behave this way in exchange for affection was disappointing. And a reality check.
Here is the truth : Quit blaming media for teaching girls, women, boys, or men how to act in damn-fool ways. It’s not only the TV, Internet, Radio, Schools who are exposing them to this behavior – much less informing them it’s acceptable to behave or view this behavior as treating themselves respectfully – or gaining power through this behavior. It’s the parents, friends, YOUR friends that are culpable as well. And if you want to teach your kids to use their assets to benefit themselves, try not to teach them to look like or be asshats while doing it.
If a friend of mine had suggested that my daughter make the “sexy” pouty-duck-face to gain affection or attention, I would have kicked the stool out from under them. And proceeded to explain to my daughter that “Intelligence will never stop being beautiful and funny. Start with Smart.”