Bring back the Tucked in Sweater- A Mother’s take on Pop Culture

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Sing- along Fun

There we were.  My three daughters and I. Cruisin’ along in the minivan, radio on high, having a little sing-along:

Me: I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it.

Take it girls…

Ava (age 9): Sex in the air, you know I love the smell of it.

Zed (age 6): Sticks and stones may break my bones.

Mini: (age 4): But whips and chains excite me.

Together: nana na na na. Come on, come on come on. I like it, like it…

*******

Fret not, this didn’t actually happen. Because when songs, like Rihanna’s S & M, come on the radio, I change the station.

The Bubble Protection Program

I casually switch from one station to the next, trying not to let sex, drug and violent lingo permeate the bubbles of innocence that are around my kids. I work hard to maintain these bubbles.

I know the lyrics would simply go over the heads of Zed and Mini but not Ava.  She loves singing and she hears the words. I don’t want her singing about sex, hickies and drunken Friday nights.

She’s nine.

It should still be about unicorns and rainbows, when you’re nine, shouldn’t it?

Wishful thinking.

I miss the innocence of my own youth when Madonna was the only one hooching it up and songs, like: Me so Horny and Boom, Boom, Boom (Let’s go Back to my Room), could be counted on one hand.

Those were the days, huh?

I’m with Annie Lennox on this one…

Music videos today are a whole other topic of agitation for me, as a mom.  This is why they’re never on in our house. Sure lots of performers have talent, creativity and vision.

Lady Gaga is half-naked in the name of art. Katy Perry adorns her boobs with ice cream sundaes because who doesn’t love a cherry on top? Robin Thicke is pervy, gropey and creepy.

Whenever I give MTV a chance I see women degrading themselves – selling their sexuality all in the name of entertainment because simulating a blow job is artistic expression, not porn, right?

Annie Lennox described such pop stars perfectly when she described them as: “pimp and prostitute at the same time.”  She views their behaviour as: “a glorified and monetised form of self-harm.”

I’m with Annie here and I don’t want my kids looking at this and thinking it’s okay, or worse yet, that it’s something to aspire to.

Long gone are the days of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany with their big hair and tucked in sweaters.

I miss Cyndi Lauper, in her side pony, singing Girls Just Wanna have Fun…

So, you can sing and you’re gorgeous but how’s your finger filacio?

According to the music industry girls have to be slim, beautiful and capable of carrying a basic tune.  This isn’t news; it’s been this way for years. But it now seems that this is no longer enough. It turns out that in order to qualify as a successful female singer you must be willing to set free your inner porn star.

Performers from Britney to J-Lo are giving us a pseudo-glimpse of what they look like when they’re actually having sex. They writhe around solo on a beach or on the ground wrapped in a sheet. They’re basically having sex with themselves while mouthing the words to their songs.

J-Lo wants us to see that she’s still “got it.” Miley wants us to know that Hannah Montana is dead and that she’s been replaced by a twerking, giant-tongue wagging, Mistress of Seduction…

Sex.

Sex.

And more sex.

No, actually, my name isn’t Agnes…

Sometimes, when I share my opinions about current pop culture, I sound like my name is Agnes or Enid. I come across as old, out of touch and closed minded, like the perfect BFF for the pastor in Footloose.

I use words like: appalling, distasteful and disgraceful.

Inappropriate is my favourite descriptive word to use, when referring to that which I deem to be unsuitable.  It’s a versatile word that can be applied to a range of categories from swear words to YouTube.

I use it when Ava comes downstairs while I’m watching Orange is the New Black.

I use it when she tells me that “all” the kids in her class are allowed to watch Walking Dead.

I say it so often that Ava has started using it.  Witnessing her saying it to her sisters has allowed me to see what kind of message it sends out.

When she says it, it sounds closed and final. It makes the topic seem beyond the reach of the recipients. It shuts the conversation down, like a door in the face.

I used it last week when Ava asked about the Wrecking Ball video.

My needle is out and I’m ready to start popping…

Ava was curious about the video. She said that some of the kids at school had seen it. I was about to close the door on the topic but I stopped myself and instead, I said: “Actually, let’s go watch it.”

With a look of shock and bewilderment, she agreed.

We googled Miley’s video. We sat together and we watched it. Ava produced a few scrunched up faces and let out a few “ews” and when the video was finished she said: “I like her music but I don’t like the way she acts.”

We chatted a little more about it and then she went off to play with her sisters.

Pop

Ping

Splooooosh

You hear that?

Those are the sounds of bubbles bursting. I can’t maintain them forever and if I try, I’ll end up creating a barrier between me and my kids instead.

There are plenty of things that I don’t want my kids to watch, learn and hear but I can’t conceal those things forever and when they do watch, learn and hear them I want my girls to feel like they can come to me.

No doors. No barriers. No Agnes