What Can We Learn From the 2011 Teen Choice Awards?

The Teen Choice Awards were two weeks ago, but I just got pointed to the winners today through an article by Jonathan McKee, where he has an excellent post all about this year’s awards.

Here’s a complete list of winners, below are the awards that stand out to me:

Choice Movie Actor — Romantic Comedy
: Ashton Kutcher, No Strings Attached

Choice Movie Actor — Comedy: Justin Timberlake, Bad Teacher

Choice Movie Actress — Comedy: Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher

Choice Vampire: Robert Pattinson

Ultimate Choice Award: Taylor Swift

Top Winners:

  • 6 Wins: Harry Potter (this includes both “Deathly Hallows” Parts 1 & 2 combined.) Wins include Movie of the Summer, Movie – Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Movie Actress, Movie Star, and Movie Villain.
  • 6 Wins: Taylor Swift. This includes the “Ultimate Choice Award” in addition to awards for Choice Female Artist, Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Country Song (“Mean”), and Choice Breakup Song (“Back to December”), and Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon.
  • 5 Wins: Twilight Series.  This also includes Robert Pattinson’s win as “Favorite Vampire” (seriously, there’s a category for that!), which simply highlights how popular vampires and fantasy has become to today’s teens.
  • 5 wins: The Vampire Diaries.  See what I mean about this whole vampire thing?  I’ve never watched the show myself, but from what I seen (a few minutes here, a website there, etc.) it’s a pretty sexualized show.
What Can Parents & Youth Workers Learn:
  1. Your kids are either sneaking into movies you don’t want them seeing, or you have looser standards than the people who rate movies “R.”  Think about it: Ashton Kutcher wins favorite actor in a romantic comedy for “No Strings Attached,” a movie all about casual sex between two friends who want the pleasure without the commitment.  Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake with favorite actress/actor in a comedy  for the movie “Bad Teacher” which begins its self-description (on its website) by saying, “Some teachers just don’t give an F.”  Do you set media restrictions for your kids?  Do you know what parameters your kids’ friends have?  Don’t feel the need to stalk your kids, but if you aren’t monitoring what they’re watching and listening to then I guarantee you they’re seeing things you probably don’t want them to see.
  2. Vampires are still “in”… and probably will be for a while.  Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, etc.  Vampires and other fantasy stories (aka: Harry Potter and the like) provide a great opportunity for writers to allegorize what they are seeing or experiencing.  Look for opportunities to ask your kids “Why do you think vampires are so trendy?” and hear them out.  Encourage them to think about it if they haven’t already, and then follow up with them after they’ve had a few days to think about it.
  3. There’s so much to be said for Taylor Swift.  For the most part, she’s kept herself pretty clean and controversy-free.  She dresses well enough to get the “Red Carpet Fashion Icon Award,” but she doesn’t do photoshoots (that I know of, at least) for Maxim or other “Mens Magazines.”  Her music is simple and clean and tons of teenagers identify with what she’s singing about, which is why she’s so huge.  But at the same time, she seems to jump from one bad relationship (she dated John Mayer… seriously, she should’ve seen that one coming!) to the next to the next, which might be why she’s able to write the “Best Breakup Song.”  Talk to your kids about Taylor – hold up what she’s done well, and talk about why they think she might swing from relationship to relationship.  When security and self-worth is found in anything other than in our relationship with Jesus Christ then we might be “filled” for a while, but only Christ gives lasting hope and contentment.
Did you watch the Awards?  What stuck out to you from the show?  Especially if your a teenager, I’d LOVE to hear from you what you think about both the Award show in general and some of my thoughts in particular…

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