Saturday, December 30, 2006

How to Offset the Impact of Role Models from Music Videos

I found this post about demeaning lyrics and the distressing way music videos depict young women by a young street poet on myspace . What's your response to him?

"Many of the current music videos include females who are skimpily dressed and/or males singing or rapping derogatory lyrics. It is not uncommon to see a video with females who are almost naked, while the males are fully dressed. There are some songs that are in heavy rotation on the radio alluding to strip clubs and encouraging women to 'shake their money maker' (e.g. body parts) in order to make money. The perceived definitions of 'naked beauty' appear to infer that the more females expose their bodies, the more opportunities they will receive.

This leads to my pet peeve.

Adolescents are at a challenging developmental stage. They want to be accepted by peers, appear attractive, and are dealing with puberty and developing an identity. Also, during this growth period there may be increased conflict with the caregivers/parents as the youth fights for more independence.

Caregivers/Parents, Teachers, Social Service Providers, and Spiritual Leaders, have to develop creative and effective interventions to instill self-esteem, life skills, empowerment, and educational commitments in youth, while youth are simultaneously being exposed to negative media images.

I ask my friends/network:
How do we help adolescent females build self-esteem when they are given the message that exposing their bodies will make them worthy of attention and/or affection?

How do we help adolescent males develop respect for females when they are being given the message that females are 'cattle' who are undeserving of respect?"
Photo by Jonathan Smith

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