December 28, 2012
The TMZ Effect
I have admittedly been drawn into a few episodes of TMZ. The adorable Harvey Levin stands among his twenty something California fake reporters and monitors the daily activities of the beautiful people. You know..our country's royalty...models, actors, and other self-proclaimed celebs who have found their way into our homes through the hot tubs and smack downs that have seemed to become must-watch "reality" television.
Although, several weeks ago, I happened to hear them discussing the newest female members of Congress. It was so bizarre to me that they were discussing these accomplished women of Washington. And then I heard it. They were actually rating the recent females elected into Congress on their "hotness" level. So, let me get this straight...a guy who may or may not have graduated from high school gets a gig on TMZ because he has a pretty face and surfer hair and thinks that it's okay to shred women who are legislating his rights as an American citizen because they are not as pretty as the women he regularly finds while skulking through the bars of Los Angeles at 2 a.m. I am no prude but I, frankly, find this troubling.
If the American Vernacular has become hot or not hot, then where does personal accomplishment, education, and hard work come into play? What message are we sending to our young women and men? We want our girls to have healthy opinions about themselves. But we also want our boys to see women as something other than a notch on the hotness meter of TMZ.
I struggle with the concept of simply turning the television off and banning this dialogue altogether. Frankly, I think we need to know what's out there so we can continue to have the discussions with our girls and boys about what is going on in our society. Because, whether we want to admit it or not, they are seeing these visuals daily through Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and other sources of social media that come creeping in when you least expect it.
I remember the good old days. No cell phones, no computers, four stations on TV. If you wanted to place a call it was in the kitchen because the phone was literally attached to the wall. Except for my friend, Kristin, who had her own phone line. I thought she was so lucky! But I digress... Sticking our heads in the sand will be of no benefit. I guess we continue to pay attention and take those little opportunities to ask our kids what they think about the influx of images they see every day. Because they are seeing them whether we want to believe it or not.