Teen Tuesday: What’s My Role?

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This will be the second discussion topic for my girls group study this summer on media messages.  As stated last Tuesday, we are discussing different messages the media promotes, looking at examples, talking about how those messages affect our way of thinking, and reading what God says about the topic.  Last Thursday’s group discussion was awesome, and I’m looking forward to this Thursday!  Like last time, I’d LOVE YOUR HELP in giving media examples, Bible verses, or even just your comments on the topic.  Below is basically what we’ll be discussing:

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Whether on TV shows, movies, advertisements, and especially music videos, girls and women are often seen as sex objects.  That is their role.  They are eye candy.  Nothing more.  To make matters worse, often they are portrayed (especially blondes) as dumb and attractive…and it makes it seem like that’s a good thing!  What message does that send to teen girls?  That they should strive to become attractive enough to be eye candy for guys as well?  That they aren’t really worth much more to the world – not their intelligence, talents, or compassion?  That they should be dumb so that guys like them?  That guys will always only see them sexually?

Or, sometimes women are seen as the responsible mom…maybe too old to be a sex object.  They have other duties now.  What message does that conflicting image send?  That those are their two choices – sex object or responsible mom?  That once they are “out of their prime” it’s over for them?  Of course, nowadays with all of the stars having babies, there is a new trend – the sexy momma.  Not exactly sure about what messages that sends.  I guess we’re just perpetuating the whole sex object idea, and how it doesn’t even matter how old you are, you will always be a sex object.  What pressure for women and mothers to try to still look sexy after having children and maintaining a family!

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What about men’s and boys’ roles?  Aren’t they often seen as womanizers or perverts?  Boys being perverts just seems to be so expected and normal, that girls may role their eyes but think to themselves…yep, that’s just boys.  But then, when the boys become older and are now suave womanizers, it becomes attractive and something to aspire to.  Boys want to aspire to be like that – to be able to get any girl they want…which obviously goes back to the women as sex objects – something to be conquered and won.

Or guys can be seen as reckless thrill-seekers, idiots, or lazy.  Obviously, none of those stereotypes are flattering, but we see them as normal and acceptable.  The thrill-seeking teenage boy looks like he has so much fun, the idiot slacker is funny, and the lazy dad is what you should expect.  This is not what God intended for men, who are supposed to be the Godly leaders in their homes.

Lastly, we’ll talk about teens and how they’re portrayed in general.  Often, they are seen as disrespectful, crazy, lazy, apathetic, and uncaring.  Yes, some teens are that way, but portraying them as such makes it seem like all teens are.  It’s just the way it is, so if you want to be all of those things, it’s perfectly fine.  It sets the bar low for them.  We are doing teens a disservice by making it seem like that’s all we expect from them, when they are capable of so much more!

We need to encourage our teen girls and guys to see the media’s roles for them as worthless and inaccurate and to look to the one who is the only true role-model: Jesus.

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on June 26, 2012.

7 Responses to “Teen Tuesday: What’s My Role?”

  1. I will agree woman/girls are conflicted on their role in society. It does not matter your age, everyone wants to be accepted. It is almost seems like we are forced to compete for a guy’s attention. We have to be beautiful and popular to be accepted. If you don’t look like a model or a certain actress, then you are an outcast.

  2. Hey Dusty, when you say media are you meaning mostly commercials or also tv shows and movies? I know the commercials (and probably MTV) are heavily leaned toward the roles you mention. But I can think of a lot of movies, for one, that seem to have the characters stretching past the stereotypes. I think the movie makers have figured out that people want to see something pushing past the typical or expected. And some even make that process the whole gist of the plot. The dumb blonde wises up at the end, the unthinking male who womanizes finally becomes more sensitive of a woman’s needs and thoughts e.g. (What Women Want with Mel Gibson). I think you also find in the movie making industry the compliant effort toward being politically correct, e.g. having at least the one female as a superhero (Black Widow) in Avengers, instead of the female role just being the secretary like in the Ironman movies. Not to defend the movie industry, I’m sure that the majority of them are still slanted in an unhealthy direction.
    > As far as Bible verses, my favorite one on this is Proverbs 31 that talks
    about the virtuous woman. It talks about her industry (the opposite of lazy), she is a homemaker, skilled crafting person in what she sews, cooks, etc. Plus she is a self-employed saleswoman. She enjoys great respect from her husband and children. She seems very well-rounded. Plus, I like the verse that talks about “let her beauty not be from the adorning of jewels and braiding of hair but the beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit. An inner beauty. Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

  3. I think this will be great for the girls at church! I hope you guys really get into it and that they get something out of it. 🙂

  4. Dusty I agree with you on everything. I like how you try to reach out to other people, and that you are using the internet as a tool for the good!

    But this page has a problem: These adds that are on this page are very controversial to the message you are giving.

    Other than that I support you, and i hope you can make a difference.
    I would “like” it if I had Facebook ^^

    • Thanks a bunch, Toby! Yeah, I included some ads/scenes from things to show what I was talking about because I feel like a picture is worth a thousand words, you know? 🙂 Obviously, I don’t support those types of things, but I think sometimes we need stuff shoved in our faces before we’ll realize it’s a problem. Also, I figured most people have seen all these things on TV anyway. Lol. Thanks again for reading and for your support! I truly appreciate it!

  5. Men have natural tendency to subvert women.men think they have been made physically and mentally strong but forget women are intellectually strong.A women whom they consider weak, endure so much pain to give birth a man.why men forget this.

    we should accept the significance of women, recogniz their great contribution towards family and society.we must accept the truth that men existence is solely dependent on women

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