I haven't written here in a bit because I can't keep up with my life, oh who am I kidding, I'm usually dancing barefoot, being all Patti Smith like.
When I'm not doing this:
Sometimes there are moments so funny and precious they need to be documented. It's also possible no one will care, as in, you had to be there, or thanks but I have my own kids lady.
As my girls get older, like most kids, they become people with their own thoughts, senses of humor, ideas, plans, and so on. They grow up.
Because they are 11-year old twin girls, we often talk about the media, how women are portrayed and the endless hurricane of objectification that is thrown their way; by that I mean walking by a new stand or listening to song lyrics on any given day. Booty booty booty.
They just love this station called Hits One, which is basically the same Iggy/Taylor/Katy/Demi/ Meghan song over and over and over and over--- there are more, but they can't really understand the fast/garbled rap lyrics, just love that beat.
They request I turn the music down when certain lyrics come on, which I think is admirable, but then I wonder and start in on a "teachable moment."
"Mom, just drive. We get it. Trust us." And I do. They really dislike the sexualization of young girls and want no part of it. I believe this is also why they create their own worlds, full of art, magic, music, fun, and kid stuff.
Last night, we were flipping through the People George Clooney wedding pictures.The reason we had this magazine is because they both asked, WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE?!
I love George Clooney and I'm sure Amal is wonderful, so this is not meant to be mean. It's more of how kids see the media.
1) They don't care about celebrities.
2) There is a pushback against this quest to be perfect. Kids know what people look like. They know when they are being sold. My kids immediate reaction is to reject anything that smells of fakery/sales/lies/snake oil/etc.
3) We talk a lot about this fake and sexualized society. Here is one article with good tips.
What intrigued them about the People cover was they had never seen this couple before, it's typically the same visual rolodex-- Kardashians, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, most recently they saw Ariana Grande on a cover and were shocked. They stopped listening to her. Ariana said: "I want people to listen to my music, not look at me and judge." Okay.
Like many of their musical faves, suddenly the person is put into the gloss, sexed-up make-over machine. Sooner or later. From Miley Cyrus to Selena Gomez to well, everyone. So then they have to find a new artist. They are holding out hope for Lorde, Kate Davis, Mille Pye, Bridgett Mendler. I've written a lot about this and completely disagree with artists who say this is all in good fun. BULLSHITE Blurred Lines.
Back to People Mag, when they opened up the pages, they were taken aback to where they needed a reality check. Is this real????
Audrey: Oh god! Who is that? Is she a giraffe? Look at her neck. Evelyn look at her neck, it's huge.
Eve: Wow, she could literally eat from a Palm tree. And her bones. Are those actual bones?
They kept flipping through the pictures, fascinated. They don't understand why women in the media want to be so thin.
A: It's like she needs to show it off. Why isn't she hiding it? Who photoshopped this mess?
E: It's a swan thing. I read that. Plus he fits right inside.
A: Who is he? Is she a Kardashian?
I explained who Clooney was, the good things he has done and a bit about Amal. Well...
E: Of course. Amal! Amal the Camel.
A: No the Llama. Amal the Llama neck Amal.
E: Yeah, that's make more sense.
E: I don't get it. Does everyone put their wedding in magazines now? Plus hi, her entire face if fake.
A: Look! She's stretching it again! Like, here's my giraffe neck again. In case you missed it.
E: Why is her sister fake jumping on the bed?
A: OH, look at my neck! Isn't it wonderful?
A: Wow! Her mom has the same neck.
E: Maybe it's just inherited. Like your mole.
A: I don't have a mole.
A: That is the most random cake ever. It's a condo.
E: My arrows are so much better. Cleaner. I could bake that cake. We should do a cake off.
A: I'm never getting married, but if I ever need a cake, it will look like Venom.
A: This is all so photoshopped. Look, it's a cutout of them on some boat on a river. But no otters. Derp.
E: Look at my amazing neck!!
A: Why is she pointing to her head?
E: This is just so derpy! What is this dress?
E: Is that wind or is it like a bell dress?
A: She is definitely not all about that bass.
I let them vent for a while, I had never heard them talk like this before. They really are kind, would never make these types of comments amount people, but I honestly think they were thrown into some other dimension. Maybe it was the heat. Who knows?
Me: Guys, stop, okay. I actually think she's really pretty and he's handsome. And this society likes to see famous people get married and be lavish.
E: You're just old, Mom.
Then to A:
E: Let's go play Hulk.
What's happening is the "look at me I'm so awesome!" and "I'm so sexy" is being lost on much of the upcoming generation, and actually anyone under 30, at least in my circles, so who exactly is perpetuating this superficial sadness? I am guessing older people, the generation on it's way out. And thank goodness. How refreshing will it be to evaluate people as they are, not what they media-invent.
But there are also so many young girls and boys that get seduced and spend all of their time and money trying to emulate these people, finding ways to call them role models. Yet I remain optimistic the tides will turn. I explained many celebs do these photo layouts, earn money, then pass it onto charitable causes, but...
E: Why not just give the money to the charity directly?
I had nothing. So I suggested the money spent on the wedding provided employment for many people. But they had tuned me out. And honestly, how the hell would I know their reasoning?
They disappeared into their room and blasted music.
The girls love Meghan Trainor's song All About That Bass because she knows everyone actually has a pulse, is real and this has to stop. (Though I'm not so sure about this "boys like junk in the trunk thing.) My kids want it to stop. A lot of kids do. But mostly they don't notice.. yet when they do, they are simply flabbergasted.
So fear not parents, kids are way more savvy than you might think. But they need out help.
Rhonda Talbot weighing in on daughters, media, photoshopping, celebrities, George Clooney, weddings, fake world.