Sexualized Pop and Language
So this is me wondering how on earth did all those American parents let their kids sing along to Nsync’s Digital Getdown, which is about fun cyber sex (with some very advance pseudo internet telephone with video, LOL). It is one thing when your parents have no idea what a song is about due to a language barrier, but another thing all together understanding English and letting some ten-year-old listen to Justin Timberlake saying he’s “getting nasty and getting freaky deaky,” as she sings along.
And there lies the beauty of pop music not in your language and the beauty of not understanding the lyrics.
As the roles have reversed — do you know how awkward it is that my dad likes Maroon 5 and that he doesn’t know the lyrics to many, if not most, of their songs are about sex? My dad listens to Shiver as Adam Levine sings about getting oral sex. Of course, I’m in no position to not let him listen to it. But as a parent would I let my kid sing along to that? Probably not.
I wouldn’t want my kid to sing out loud about the “sweet kiwi, and the juices dripping down someone’s chin” — at least not in front of me or while they’re riding on the car with me. It is obvious that kids will consume any media when adults are not watching, so how do we prevent sexualized pop culture from messing with them?
I’m not even a parent and I worry about this! I have four nephews (but one is really old, so he feels more like a cousin) and three young nieces between the ages of two and nine years old. I just can’t even begin to imagine what pop culture will do to them.
I think I turned out pretty alright, as I respected my parents’ decisions not to let me listen to (or watch) some questionable materials when they were around — even if I did listen to or watch them when they weren’t looking. As much as I was sheltered from sexualized media, I was also exposed to it, though what we once got exposed to is a fraction of what’s going on in today’s world.
My only hope is that my nieces — or *knocks on wood* my future kid — would never ask me to let them perform in skimpy outfits because “it’s the cool thing to do”. I wish they would stay as true to being a kid as long as possible, and that they grow up to be sensible individuals with character.