Yesterday a friend and I decided to take our daughters on a Mother/Daughter fun day. We surprised the girls by taking them to Six Flags. While the rides were tons of fun, I was appalled by the things I saw. It was too much for me to keep quiet!
While you wait in line, televisions are intentionally placed to grab your attention. In the past, we’ve laughed with Daffy Duck but yesterday we were bombarded with messages from MTV. Not only was there a commercial where a person was brutally murdered, but the scantily dressed musicians danced erotically across the stage all the while appealing to everyone there.
Ironically, the loudspeakers would periodically declare Six Flags as a Family Friendly park. I beg to differ. What came on those screens while we waiting in line to ride “kid friendly” rides, I would not dare allow on my screen at home.
As I fumed over what the leadership of Six Flags must be thinking to allow such garbage, I began to think about the influence the media has on young minds. In the time we waited to get on the “Monster Mansion” we had seen teens making out, girls dancing seductively, a teenage boy drinking at a bar and grotesque characters promoting Halloween – all on the distraction screen. While I was gritting my teeth in frustration over this, a teenage girl came up beside me in line. She no doubt suffered from an eating disorder. She was dressed in a tank top with her belly fully exposed. We could see her bones. The strange thing was that it was very obvious that she had breast implants. She was trying to have that “model look” that even models are computer altered to obtain.
This is what the media is doing to our young people! It is altering their perceptions of a healthy body image. This girl looked ghastly, but I am willing to bet if I asked her, she felt fat.
We need to do all we can to be healthy and care for the bodies God has given us, but we have created a generation that obsesses over physical appearance. I want my daughter to focus more on inward beauty than outward. How do we compete with all the opposing messages attacking our children?
Well for starters, I’m going to talk to Jorjanne about what we saw yesterday and use it as a teaching moment.
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is often accompanied by emotional struggles. Anorexia and bulimia are both treatable disorders. Counseling is often very effective in helping people who struggle with this.
In the meantime, we need to focus on whatever is pure, noble, true or praiseworthy! May we all be vigilant to guard the hearts of our children as well as our own.