Too Much Skin for Sesame Street?

23 Sep


Whoa, I guess Katy Perry isn’t welcome in the PBS neighborhood. It seems “Sesame Street” has decided against airing the scantily clad Katy – or maybe it was her singing? – on PBS after getting complaints about it. I find this whole hoopla over what she was (not) wearing during her song and dance with the furry, red monster a riot.

Our kids see references to relationships and sex all around them every day. In their cartoons, male characters whistle and pant when a female character walks by. Often, those female characters are dressed very womanly – don’t tell me Princess Fiona’s dress didn’t accentuate her curves and cut a little low to reveal some ‘vege. Or, what about the Disney girls? Where was your problem with that? A crab telling a voiceless hottie how to “kiss the boy.” Why is Katy Perry in a skin-showing frock any worse during her two and a half minutes of screen time?

Sometimes, I think the reaction we have to things makes them a bigger deal than they actually are. My word. How much of any of it do you think your preschooler picks up on anyway? I’m sure that’s why my thoughts above never bothered you – those scenes are so subtle, right? Let’s say the kids don’t pick up on it – I’m sure many of us have something questionable from our childhood that we encountered and didn’t realize it how sexual or terrible it was. I watched Grease over and over again and sang along – not having any idea I was singing “pussy wagon” or the “chicks will cream.” Also, what was happening in the backseat of that car?

I find it hypocritical and confusing that, as a society, we have become accepting of so much around us that it just doesn’t make sense to me when we try to say, “Oh, hold up! That’s just wrong! But that over there – that lingerie ad, that music video, billboard, commercial, magazine cover, tv show – those are all ok.” Why? Because they aren’t aimed at the children? Well, unless you have them only watching “Sesame Street” (except for when Katy Perry was going to be on) and walking around with plugs in their ears and covering their eyes – they’ve certainly been around it. Try checking out with a child at the grocery store. While you unload your cart, their eyes are on the candy and the eye-candy on the covers of the mags. Nia actually moves the censor-shields out of the way to ask me why they’re covered.

Now, there’s an idea – talking to a child about why something was a certain way and why you think it should be different or not. Whatever. Watch Katy Perry and if they seem to mimic a behavior you don’t like, discuss it with them. Educate them. Help them grow into responsible, considerate adults who maybe won’t want to put the sexy dressed star of their time on a children’s show. Or maybe they will and it will just fine because – in the future – it will be sunny days and everything will be a-ok.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I’m actually not a fan of her (lack of) attire on the appearance. I’m also disappointed in Elmo for not offering her a jacket. I thought that monster had manners. He could have taught Katy about dressing for the occasion.

4 Responses to “Too Much Skin for Sesame Street?”

  1. Selfish Gen-X Parent September 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    KPerr doesn’t seem to be wearing her push-up bra in this duo with Elmo. Who knew she was so dainty on top? Like! I don’t think it would have occurred to me that she was scantily dressed if I hadn’t read about it. I like that Sesame Street features current entertainers, even if it’s for my benefit and not Soren’s. Thanks, Sesame Street!

    • nikkival September 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      I agree! Also, Sesame Street has always had an element for adults. For example, it uses sarcasm beautifully.

      • Selfish Gen-X Parent September 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

        Elmo’s Potty Time is a freaking masterpiece. I laugh every time Gordon (yum, btw) sings, “Grown-ups…OH YEAH, we do it” in the context of “poopy, or dooty, or DOOKIE!”

  2. Gin September 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the how we as adults react to things in front of our children – I’ve tried really hard not to show my shock to Em when Ariel yells at her dad that she is 16 and should be treated like an adult….. hoping the less a big deal I make of it the less she’ll pick up on it…..

    Much like our conversations here about professional athletes and how you can admire their athletic prowess and not want to emulate their personal behaviors….. all the fun side parts of parenting – this whole talking thing 🙂

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