Baby apps, teen films, Stride Rite, Marissa Mayer, female-centric media or lack thereof, media research, Miley and Robin

This week, a mish-mash of media readings. 

First of all, I’m grateful to my friend Melissa Wardy of PigtailPals for putting together this discussion for parents about the Miley Cyrus performance on MTV’s music video awards show this weekend.

What is so interesting is that all of the kids and young adults I have spoken to about the performance and who I have seen interviewed in the media all had the same reaction, “That is so unfortunate. It is really inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, there is a ton of other interesting items from the past week or so:

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, poses for Vogue

Amy Jussel of Shaping Youth on Marissa Mayer’s photo shoot in Vogue

My own teen took one look at Marissa Mayer’s spread and dismissively shoulder-shrugged:

“So basically, no matter how smart or athletic or successful you are, it’s still all about hotness.” Boom. And ouch.
This nudged me toward more impromptu teen inquiries, including her pal Nick, an 18 year old boy, who said,
“It’s not as bad as MOST ads…at least she’s wearing clothes.”
Well, isn’t that just ducky. We’ve devolved to a cultural context of a new pornified low, akin to “at least she wasn’t twerking.”

Research Reveals How Kids Learn From ‘Sex-Saturated’ Online Culture

In one focus group during her research, Steiner-Adair met a 13-year-old who asked why women like being choked while having sex. The boy was basing his question on a YouTube video he’d seen. In other instances, children as young as 8 years old have imitated pornography at school, again prompted by online videos. “There’s been really radical change in the last couple years with how boys and girls are flirting and courting,” says Steiner-Adair. “We have lost the barriers to protect childhood.”

Subversive teen sex comedy

Female sexuality in teen films is usually tied up in neatly wrapped packages of love –sex happens to the strains of a soft rock ballad without notion of pain or pleasure. Women’s sexual experiences are never shown in the lusty, awkward, comedic and horribly realistic ways that men’s are in this genre. That’s what makes Maggie Carey’s The To Do List so subversive–it takes the female character equivalent of everygirl (who would be sidelined as the “been there all along” girl) and puts her squarely in charge of her sexual experimentation with hilariously awkward and painfully realistic results.

BBC's new female-led shows for kids

BBC children’s channel CBeebies has made a raft of new series commissions that are poised to feature more female leads Read more:

stride rite for girls

stride rite for boys

Stride Rite needs to give kids more choices not less

My 7 year old daughter told me that at her school, a first grade boy was playing with a castle, and she heard a first grade girl keep telling him: “That’s a girl toy.” The girl wouldn’t let up until the boy stopped playing and moved away. Gender stereotyping leads to bullying and that limits all kids. And gender stereotyping is everywhere. Even if I don’t shop at Stride Rite, my kids will still see this ad in the window. The Stride Rite store is in a San Francisco neighborhood where lots of kids go school. Hundreds of children will see this ad every day.


Media’s Shameless Role in Peddling Gender Stereotypes to Children

That is why it is so important to be an intentional parent who is paying attention and not passively accepting corporate definitions of boyhood and girlhood. By being intentional parents, we can lessen the power of that unwanted third parent.

‘Unhealthy’ ads more common in poor neighborhoods, survey finds

The Marlboro Man is not on the highways now. The corner store has become the new tobacco billboard,” said PennDesign professor and survey leader Amy Hillier. “Big tobacco industries are fighting for their business on this scale, on this neighborhood scale.”

And some tweets:


Finally, must-view video – hilarious!


  1. toughlovehardtruths says:

    Love your site. I’ll definitely be returning often.

  2. Thanks, Karla. I was glad to come across your blog – you are doing important work there on violence.

  3. toughlovehardtruths says:

    Thanks Erin – and ditto!

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