When I was a kid my parents took my brother and me to Europe for the summer. They wanted to show us the places where they grew up, and travel down memory lane with their children to bear witness. I am sure they took us to many historically significant sites, and spoke with nostalgia about their past gone by – their intentions being to educate and expose us to the culture of our heritage. But for some reason all I remember about that trip was listening to Prince on my Walkman while driving 120 miles per hour down the Autobahn, and boobs on TV.
I guess in Europe it was considered okay to advertise yogurt with bare breasts. Considering the fact that all the beaches were topless, why not have a nipple remind you that strawberry is a delicious flavor for your favorite dairy treat? Actually, I now remember the topless beaches too, and my being too shy to expose my 7 year old chest, but then also feeling awkward about being the only girl in a full piece bathing suit. But I was fascinated by the idea that on the beaches in Hungary, showing your breasts was not considered nudity.
I wonder how we in America can be so uptight about nudity, and yet still use the woman’s body as a selling point for almost every product on the market? A sexy girl can sell cars, cigarettes, beer, men’s body spray, peanuts, fast food hamburgers…. Yet at the same time if we happen to see a nip slip while she is breastfeeding then quick call the cops and arrest her. There seems to be such a mixed messages when it comes to female sexuality where it is totally okay for major corporations to exploit her, but if she is to look sexy on her own then she is asking to be raped.
Which brings me to an article that a fellow blogger wrote about here, where this mom of 3 sons wrote an open letter to teenage girls. It starts like this “Dear girls, I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through your social media photos.”
Call me old fashion, but that seems like a really weird thing to do at dinner. Shouldn’t you guys be talking to each other instead of look at pictures of teen girls on Facebook?
She then goes on to say how “I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra. I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout. What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.”
Ummmm, actually yeah I do do that. It’s actually really great exercise. But has this women ever looked at a magazine, or turned on the TV? It seems really condescending to blame girls for being inappropriate when they are imitating what they see as culturally acceptable in our every day media. And if mom thinks this is the sauciest stuff her kids are seeing on the internet I invite her to do an hour tour of the porn-world that is out there for everyone to enjoy assuming they have fingers to click the “yes I am 18 button.” And believe you me, the culture of modern pornography is way more disturbing and graphic then any 16 year old trying to look cute before going to bed. (If you are my grandmother read no further… skip to the next paragraph… but I think we should be way more concerned of videos like “2 dicks one ass” and how that is impacting the male expectation of sex then we should care about some young girls mimicking a Vodka add).
I guess this mom had good intentions with her open letter – thinking that girls should care more about their personalities and intelligence then worrying about posting seductive selfies online. But at the same time, should females feel ashamed for wanting to be sexually desirable? Or should they alone be held responsible for men wanting to fantasize about them? And why is sex something disgraceful? I mean I know it is kind of funny that a man puts his wingy-ding in a fuzzy-wuzzy, but that is nothing to be embarrassed about!
There is this idea that we have to protect our children from sex, and if we keep them away from it they will never be curious about it. There even seems to be the prevailing opinion that sex or nudity is more dangerous for them to see than violence. But is this reasonable thinking considering sexualized images are so prevalent in the advertising world and modern pop culture? And I feel like kids in indigenous tribes are exposed to naked people all the time, and I am pretty sure that the exposure makes sex, nudity, and sexuality less intriguing because it is so in their face. I mean when you are waste-high and constantly have to dodge bumping into genitals, chances are that you are not going to be half as interested in sex as a repressed American teenager.