found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Pop music, sex, and young girls

Forgive the salacious title for this post – but I knew it would get attention and really think this post deserves it.

Recently in a parent education class I’ve been attending since my kids were babies, the topic of music came up.  One of my friends said she didn’t want her child listening to a popular rock station on the radio – a station that I frequently listen to, with my kids. In fact, not just listen to, but I’ll admit I’ve even downloaded on my iPod a playlist that we all enjoy, including songs from Katy Perry, Nelly, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and even Ke$ha.  I actually thought it was cute the first time I heard my girls singing “Bad Romance” and “California Gurls”, their little voices and their cute dance moves were a riot!  And it’s not like I was letting them watch the videos. At this point, you’re probably in one of two camps, thinking: “that is funny, so what?” or “OMG, that’s so inappropriate, this lady is clueless!”

For background, when I just had the baby I listened to whatever I liked, mainly because she was too little to know/recognize the lyrics. But, when my oldest was around a year we did switch to mostly baby and toddler-friendly music. A lot of Twin Sisters, Charlotte Diamond, Raffi, Mickey Mouse, and Putamayo music was played.  Not that this was so bad, but sometimes I just wanted to hear my own music.  As my oldest started preschool and I would occasionally listen to my pop or hip-hop music, I realized she was really liking the beat and melodies too. It seemed harmless enough.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think this music isn’t very much filled with unwanted messages, I guess I was just thinking my kids were still too young to actually pick any of that up.

Well, talking about it in our class forced me to acknowledge my intuition that we need to make some changes in our music choices. It also got me to do some quick research online about the impact that pop music, as an important cultural influence, has on young girls.  Let’s just say, it’s not good (see links below).  I’m embarrassed now that I let my impressionable, “unformed” girls hear and see so many things that they do not have the maturity to filter yet.  So, after talking with my husband and changing up our iPod playlists, we’ve acknowledged that we’ll have to stay (pop) culturally relevant on our own time.

To tackle next, the predominant PRINCESS obsession and its impact on our girls… a friend has mentioned the book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture and that it would be a good read, so look for a review sometime soon!

See some links below to some thought-provoking articles I found:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14227775/ns/health-sexual_health/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-schumacher-and-debbie-bookchin/whats-next-from-lady-gaga_b_498620.html

http://www.redbookmag.com/kids-family/advice/sexualization-of-young-girls

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-09-30-miller30_st_N.htm

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2 comments on “Pop music, sex, and young girls

  1. Amy P
    February 20, 2011

    I think about that too. I taught Max to say “yeah, yeah, yeah” along with Chris Brown’s Yeah 3x, which is probably no big deal, but then it got me thinking the rest of the lyrics and about other pop music. I would never want him to say, “mom, what’s S&M?” (Rhianna’s latest)! I will be interested in your princess post since i have a daughter now too.

  2. found not lost
    February 20, 2011

    Amy – yes, so true, I thought that same thing about Rihanna’s new song. When my 5-yr-old asked “Mom, what’s ‘bad romance’?” that was when I realized she was really hearing the lyrics, not just the tune. So, now I’m trying to find some more acceptable music that I still like, like some of the Coldplay or OneRepublic songs… And definitely worry more because I have girls, though when I think of it, this music and the lyrics are just as damaging to a boy in terms of their respect for women. Scary.

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2011 by in kids/family and tagged , , , .
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