This summer I think I have watched more TV than I did this whole school year put together! And since I haven't gotten to watch much TV up until now, I have been curious about all the shows that I hear people talking about. And I have to say that after watching some of these shows (the latest one I watched was Real Housewives Of New Jersey last night for about 10 minutes), I am just really sad about what is out there these days...especially for girls.
I am going to get up on my soap box here for a little bit, so I hope I'm not offending anyone, but this is just how I feel about it. I have 3 girls. Two of them are in college and one is in her early twenties. I know that girls this age are really into fashion and shopping and relationships and hair and nails and all those things. I get it. My girls are into all of those things too. But they are also girls who are trying to balance all of that with honoring God and doing the right things and using their talents and giving back. And so many things on TV these days (and in movies and magazines) are making it soooo much harder for them to do that. To me, they are just overwhelmed with the wrong message at every turn.
The main themes I am seeing in these shows (that are mostly marketed for teenage girls and young women) are materialism, self-absorption, revenge, bratiness, lack of self-control, and overt sexuality. It seems like the girls and women in these shows are obsessed with shopping and spending and big houses and fashion and broken relationships. If these girls work, it seems like they work in the fashion industry or for a magazine up in New York. Really? How common is that? But to watch, you would think everyone does it and that it is THE coolest job you could have. These shows are touted as "reality shows", but I don't think their reality is the same as most people's reality. I have little girls in my second grade class that truly believe they are going to grow up to be a rock star or a Hollywood actress or a model because they see these careers on TV and think they are common and attainable. Maybe they will become one of these things one day, but chances are they won't.
I told Ashley and Laura this week that I wish there were a show on TV called "Smart Girls"! These would be the girls that are intelligent and bright and use their creativity and energy to make the world a better place. These would be the girls that work in politics and medicine and education and science. These would be the girls who are confident and friendly and spend their time encouraging others and praying for others instead of tearing each other down. These would be the girls who are knowledgable about world events and are well-read. These would be the girls whose idea of giving back includes actually getting dirt under your fingernails and doing more than just standing around in a fancy dress with a glass of wine in your hand at a charity event or fashion show(although that is important, too, in its own way!) These girls would know that you can still look cute and have a good time without becoming a self-absorbed mean girl! And they would set good examples for the girls out there in America who are forming their ideas and interests.
I know that these shows are just for entertainment and I admit I get sucked into them sometimes too. But the whole time I'm watching, there is something inside of me that is screaming, "This is ridiculous!!" You can't find a good husband by kissing 25 different men on the same night! And even though that shopping spree and those glamorous clothes look so great, believe me, you will be bored with them in no time! And none of the grown women I know host fancy parties that end up in cat fighting and pulling each other's hair out!
I'm not sure what the answer is other than to run as fast as you can away from the TV! haha But it's just something that weighs on my heart for my own girls and all the other girls out there that are trying to figure out who they are. We need some good role models and I just wish they were easier to find!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.-Phil. 4:8