Tuesday, August 27, 2013

VMA Performance: Another Warning Sign

In a day where families need two income earners to support a home our children and adolescents are being taught less by parents and more by media and school environments. The performance by Miley Cyrus on the VMA's is not a first in what our children are seeing but instead was an outright public performance that millions watched that should be a warning to our desensitization as a society. We can turn away with shock and dismay but what is needed is for parents and others to begin to speak up about how public displays such as this are affecting our younger generations in a very negative way. The television indicated that the VMA program was acceptable for the ages of 14 and older and yet this again only shows that it is time to take a stand for our children and adolescents as the media is not censoring inappropriate content for our children's self esteem and healthy development. It is our job as parents and society to take the stand and not wait for others to take action to protect our children's eyes, ears and minds. The argument begins to occur by others about freedom of speech but these individuals do not have a front seat view of what is occurring to our younger generations as they view sexuality, individuality, and attempts to stand out to others in unhealthy and negative ways.

As a mother and therapist I will give some insight into what is occurring in our younger generations due to medias influence. Years ago I gave an interview on a local television show about medias influence on children and adolescents and since that time as a therapist I  have continued to see a continued moral decline in  media that is only getting worse as the years go by. In my practice over half my case load is teenagers who wrestle with self esteem and identity issues in a world where magazines, television and media is influencing our girls to grow up faster and express their sexuality at a very young age. We have young adolescents wearing more provocative clothing and makeup to make themselves look older while we also fear the sex trade industry and continued abductions of our young beautiful women off the streets at ages as young as eleven.  When we allow the media to continue to indicate to our young women that individuals such as Miley Cyrus support drugs, shaking it like you are at a strip club and rubbing yourself against men who could be old enough to be your father we are allowing our young girls to think that this is what is normal and is expected to be famous and popular. I see girls daily who struggle to be the age they are at yet are being conflicted with a constant influx of propaganda that is teaching them that they should be portraying themselves as years older. The other issue with this is that our young women are not emotionally or intellectually mature enough yet to even comprehend or understand healthy sexuality or identity as a young adult.

As a mother I am thankful that my daughter looks at topics such as Miley Cyrus with sadness and thoughts of not understanding how a young adult woman could allow herself to be portrayed in this way. As a therapist I am saddened that many other young girls out there are not being taught what is healthy and appropriate. I am speaking of young women in this article but do not want to miss out on talking about the effect that this is also having on our young men in society. Boys in our society are also being negatively affected by media. We are seeing an increase in violence and desensitization in our young men as they are babysat at young ages by video games that teach killing without consequence. Boys are also being taught to objectify women and that they are sexual objects that want to be objectified. I am seeing an increase in children and adolescent boys who are becoming addicted to pornography at young ages. I also want to point out that parents who are not monitoring what their children are watching on their electronic systems need to understand that pornographic material is not what it used to be. There are numerous pornographic sites of women being tied up and raped indicating that they want this treatment. To those men out there who watched the VMA's and thought Miley's performance was sexy I want to remind you that this young woman is not much older than many of your daughters and should be a warning to fathers about their own daughters and sons needing help to understand what is appropriate and healthy.

As I watched the performance of Miley I for one felt a strong pain of sadness in my heart for this young woman. Her performance to me indicated that she is hurting and struggling and has been pulled into the same decline we have observed with other child stars. I can only hope that after this display that perhaps she could be a media voice to our young girls and boys and the media as she reflects on what she displayed and realizes the influence it may have had.  I also thought about her own father when I watched the performance and questioned why he is not stepping up to his role as a loving caring father. I only know that as a therapist and mother I will continue to step up to my role in helping our young men and women decipher healthy vs unhealthy. My hope is that many others can step up with me and be a voice to protect and save the upcoming generations from fictitious views of who they should be and how they should portray themselves. We as adults need to step up and take action instead of just talking about how shocked and dismayed we are by what is happening in the media and to our children and adolescents.

To all my teens that may be reading this article, you are beautiful, unique and an individual that defines yourself. Be strong in who you are and remember that the truest beauty about who you comes from your individuality and not conforming to what others, media, and society tell you that you should be.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely well written and well stated! I was sorely disappointed in miss miley, as well as disappointed in her father for not only allowing such behavior, but for supporting her "right to be an individual." If I were her parent, I would be embarrassed and humiliated to see the fruit of my loins acting in such a disgraceful manner. This should be a warning to every parent everywhere.