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Media Bad For Our Girls?

I lifted my feverish head off the pillow yesterday to spend the afternoon at my beautiful daughter’s Volleyball game. I have only missed one since the season began because I take seriously my job as her chief booster/embarrasser (yeah, made up word). I’m proud of the woman she is turning into; incredibly sweet and whip smart. Maybe that’s why I was so dismayed to see that more than ten million people tuned in to see Kim Kardashian tie the knot with Kris Humphries. Really?

Okay I got nothing against the Kardashians but can someone remind me again, why are they famous? Forgive me for sounding like a middle-aged curmudgeon (which is why I am by the way), but what have they done to contribute to society?  What are they offering of value and why should we be watching?

The Kardashians haven’t claimed TV solely as their domain; they’re ubiquitous. You can’t go into a supermarket without seeing Kim and her most famous asset, coming from a workout. The sisters are inescapable too, as is their brother who is taking up valuable space on my favorite show.  So why does any of this matter?

Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

That’s a clip from the movie Miss Representation, which airs on OWN later this month. I’ll be watching with Casey and Cole. Why?

Because the images being portrayed in the media are diametrically opposed from the one I am trying to portray at home.  I want Casey to think that she can be anything she wants to be, do anything she wants to do. I don’t want her to be afraid to call out in class for fear of being labeled as nerdy. I don’t want her to worry unnecessarily about hanging on to her looks or figure, fearing that’s the only way she’ll get ahead.  And I want Cole to respect girls who have brains.

This is mission critical in my mind because if we’re not careful, we’re gonna end up with a society populated by gorgeous idiots; some would argue that’s already the case. But there needs to be a change in the media being offered our kids. This looks like a good start.

As for the Kardashians, I’m not a hater. But how great would it be to see them pictured with a book instead of a Blackberry from time to time?  Hey, a mom can wish, can’t she?

What’s your take on media and young girls? Do you think we’re doing a disservice to girls AND boys with some of the imagery out there? What would you do to make it better?


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