Teen Tuesday: What’s My Role?
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:
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!
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.