I missed the 2011 VMA’s on MTV this year because the power was out from Hurricane Irene. Honestly, though, I wasn’t upset about it or disappointed. As a youth pastor I believe it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in pop culture that so many teenagers are consumer on a regular basis, but I also feel the struggle of wanting to protect myself from watching/listening to what can best be classified as “garbage.”
Then yesterday when I was home flipping through the channels I noticed MTV was replaying the VMA’s and watched about ten minutes of it. In those ten minutes I saw Lady Gaga dressed up as a man (and really pulled off the look so well it was just strange) and the tribute to Britney Spears.
Aside from the awkwardness of Gaga and Spears’ interactions, what stood out to me most was that the girls who performed the dance routine which reenacted scenes from Spears’ most famous videos were kids. MTV’s website even boasts, “Kids Pay Tribute to Britney Spears with Dance Medley.” None of them looked older than 16 (maybe!), but some of them looked like they could’ve been 10! Watching these young girls dancing to such heavily sexualized songs in outfits that propelled Spears into the spotlight for her sexuality just felt wrong. Honestly, my heart was (and still is) sad for those girls. They are being fed the message that their body is their key to success.
Girls, you are more than sex objects. You are valued and precious no matter what you look like, because God made you in His image. Your worth is not determined by what size you wear or what your hair looks like.
Parents, talk to your kids about healthy sexuality. Don’t just have “the talk,” have talks on a regular basis, because your kids are seeing and hearing sexual messages all the time. Set up parameters and guidelines that limit what your kids watch on tv, visit online, play on the video game console. Take an active role in helping your teenager (not just girls, but boys too!) grow a healthy and biblical view of sexuality.
Kids are being exposed to sexual content earlier and earlier, don’t wait so long to have uncomfortable conversations that you’re playing catch-up and you don’t even know it.
Leave a comment below: What are some other ways you’ve noticed sexualization targeting kids who are younger and younger?