Monday, July 12, 2010

Girl Talk

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

24 comments:

Cherit said...

I agree with you about televsion these days. I wish they did have shows about smart girls. What a difference it would make!

吳婷婷 said...

Poverty tries friends.............................................................

petrii said...

Oh Betsy,
You are SO right and I think you should pitch your show to the executives...I would definitly watch!!

There is so much out there negative for boys as well. My heart aches for our kids. They are faced with so much. But God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine. And I can ask or imagine a lot of our kiddos to help make things better for them. Our God is GREAT!!

Love you friend ~~ thank you for this post ~~ beautiful,
Dawn

Jilly said...

THANK YOU and AMEN!!! I had those same sentiments and comments after watching about 5 minutes of Glee. That is the model for our young people these days???

The Monogrammed Mrs. said...

Great post. This is the main reason I only watch about two hours of TV a month.

Deidre said...

Betsy! You are reading my mind! This very issue is what keeps me in ministry to high school girls. And guess what?? We are slowly starting a ministry called 'smart girls'. I agree with you wholeheartedly. There just isn't much out there for encourage young women.

Meagan said...

Preach on sister! I couldn't agreen more! So much "reality" TV is so far removed from "reality" it's comical! Most of it is trash. I'm glad you did this post - and for the record I think your "smar girls" show is a great idea... I'd watch it!

Emily said...

Amen!! Couldn't have said it better myself!!

Leelee said...

So true...great post...I have 3 girls also...I wish there were more Gilmore Girls type shows out there....

Vonda said...

I couldn't agree more! I have an 11 year old daughter and there are very few shows that we can enjoy watching together. Most things out there go against everything that I am trying to teach her. I love, love, love Phil. 4:8. That is a very good verse to commit to memory and to teach our girls.

Holly said...

This is how I feel 100% We did that exact thing... we don't watch TV at all. We only watch movies, that way we can control what we want in our home. That may be extreme for some, but for our little family it's working out great!

Christal said...

Betsy AMEN to everything you wrote it is so so true! TV isn't even worth watching most of the time! The messages and untruth of what life is "really" like is the reason for the downfall in society thinking its cool to fool around have a baby or do whatever they want! Where are the real shows is right.Its sickening and sad to think where it will go! You are So right! Love the smart girls lets make that a reality that all the good things will get all of us alot farther in life! Put God back into EVERYTHING and life around the world would be so so much better! Great post! ps looks like your trip was a blast love all the pictures! You guys have a great family.

Lauren Kelly said...

I could not agree more. I kind of touched on this on my latest blog post, not to this extent though. It’s amazing how two “realities” can differ so much. But the sad part is that is their reality, and does it leave them happy in the end? No. Because they’re filling that void with other junk instead of running to the only person who can fill it. They need one heavy dose of reality, and not the kind they’re used to!!!! Great post!

Leigh Ann said...

Amen!

Immeasurably More Mama said...

I there was a "Smart Girls" show then I would be tuning in! I watched RHWONJ last night for the first time and I thought it was ridiculous too!

Ruthie G from Cali said...

I agree wholeheartedly. The only shows where there are smart girls in the science field are the detective type shows that I wouldn't allow my teenagers to watch because they introduce all sorts of 'conditions' and perversions that I didn't even know existed and had never heard of before. No way!

Ginger said...

All I can say is AMEN!!

Kimberly said...

I only visit your blog occasionally but I am so glad I saw this entry of yours! Thank you so much for posting it.:) I appreciate your voice as it's so rare to hear people sharing an awareness of the filth that is currently on TV.

For some reason, most of us have stopped questioning whether spending our time in this manner is really wise. I have to say that we no longer have cable in our home. I am not saying this is what everyone should do, of course, but we made this decision after being frustrated many times by the lack of quality programs available. We have young children in our house and I really don't want them desensitized to so many things that have become casual in our society. Lord willing, we will find ways to focus them in the direction of demonstrating qualities like the ones you mentioned "smart girls" or boys would. :)

Christi said...

I couldn't agree with you more! As a mother of a young girl and a middle school teacher, I get so upset and aggrevated at the role models on TV. I try my best to be a good role model for them. I enjoy reading your blog do much!

Love Being a Nonny said...

What a great post. So true. So very true. Young girls must feel like they can never measure up. The pressure to be beautiful and famous is amazing. How sad. Keep encouraging your own daughters. There ARE some very good things out there to encourage young girls. Sadly, we have to LOOK for them...but they are there. I feel so bad for them because they face so much on a day to day basis. Reality is tough!

Jacquie said...

Amen, Betsy!!! From the perspective of a mother of BOYS... I appreciate that there are mothers out there who are still trying to raise godly young women. The boys in today's society NEED them. I know we didn't just graduate yesterday, BUT girls nowadays are so much different then when we went to school. It's a tough time to be a teen... that's for sure! You're children are such great examples!!

Karen said...

Hi Betsy, I couldn't agree with you more! As a Mom of a 6 month old daughter, I am always thinking about what I need to do to raise her as a girl with self respect and high self esteem. I can only imagine how challenging that will be especially what TV is showing the opposite. It sounds like you have amazing girls!!!

Karen

Stephanie said...

I agree totally! We have watched these shows and so have my girls. When we watch , we are usually laughing at the stupid things these ladies argue over and the elaborate way they live their lives..... these ladies on tv have no concept of reality- thats for sure!!
Its nice to see someone else out here see's it this way too!
Happy Summer :)
Stephanie

Heather said...

Betsy you are such a wise woman!! Will you come help me raise my girls? That is a very serious question. I loved reading this, thank you for sharing, I agree 100% with you on this!! I love you!