Thank you to Christal Frost for talking with author Carla Hanna about a parent’s responsibility to support teen and child identity formation at a crucial time when over-sexualized images of young women continue to influence their clothing and appearance. Some of the topics we discussed are included below:
- Why are the Halloween costumes available for girls to wear so sexual?
- What are the signals moms send to their girls when they wear the sexy costumes themselves?
- Beware of the “Sex Sells” Mentality. This belief is pervasive in advertising as a tool to attract attention for a product or personality. But is true?
We are consumers of Hollywood’s fast food for the brain. With supply and demand basic economic principles, content creators (media, music, TV, and film producers) say that the consumer who buys the product is responsible for the content, i.e: If we leave a racy Halloween costume on the rack we say no to it. If we go to a soft-porn rated R movie, we vote for content just like it. If we tweet about the latest performer’s twerking fest, we want to see more of it.
Although I insist that moms and teens take more responsibility for content, I challenge the basic supply and demand assumptions. Look at the facts from the top selling 2014 films as of today. Of the top 13 films, only one has a gratuitous sex scene. Consumers have voted, so why do we continue to accept a “sex sells” mantra from the advertisers? Below is a screenshot.
Please, entertainment consumers, join me in changing the content of stories for teens and challenging what Hollywood tells us is beautiful. A woman is much, much more than a sexual object. We’re smart.
Carla Hanna, author of the young adult Starlet Series which takes the reader inside the life of Hollywood teens and asks what roles we all play in our cultural stories. Starlet’s Man | Starlet’s Web | Starlet’s Run | Starlet’s Light