Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
America’s young girls continue to be under pressure to relax their moral standards as yet another popular teen magazine, Seventeen, published a glowing review of a music video featuring same-sex attraction and adultery.
Newsbusters is reporting on Selena Gomez’ new “Bad Liar” music video which contains “poorly-masked pedophiliac themes.”
In the video, Gomez, who rose to stardom on kids shows such as Barney & Friends and Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, stars as a young high school girl who has a crush on her female gym teacher (also played by Gomez in disguise). As the video progresses, we discover that the school’s principal, who is also the girl’s father (also played by Gomez in disguise), is having an affair with the gym teacher and cheating on his wife (also played by Gomez in disguise). In other words, the student, who is the daughter of the school’s principal, has a crush on the same woman her father is involved with while cheating on her mother!
Could this plot get any more sick and twisted?
But that’s not how Seventeen Magazine presents it.
“Oh, and did I mention Selena also takes on the role of the principal, the principal’s wife, and the gym teacher? God, there’s nothing that girl can’t do,” wrote Kelsey Stiegman, a writer for Seventeen.
All Stiegman sees is Selena’s great “talent.” Who cares that she’s using her talen to normalize lesbianism and adultery?
Sadly, this morally vacuous review has already been shared 11,200 times on Facebook and Twitter.
As Newsbusters points out, this kind of trash is being fed to the magazine’s more than 1,579,000 subscribers who range in age from 12 to 15. And if they don’t see it in Seventeen, they can find it on Gomez’ Instagram account is the most popular on the platform with 123 million followers!
Our young women are being deluged by this kind of messaging which teen-centered media outlets such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen, MTV, are aiming directly at their highly sensitive and very impressionable young hearts. Girls see these images and hear these messages and think the only way to “be cool” is to achieve an impossibly high standard of beauty while giving into every physical craving and impulse. They are left conflicted between what they know is right and what society is telling them they have to do to be “cool.” As a result, many find themselves caught in the impossible and cruel space between the two – feeling bad about themselves if they give in or feeling lonely and left out if they don’t. Is it any wonder that this demographic is suffering from epidemic levels of STD’s, poor self-esteem, eating disorders, depression, and suicide?
We all know that girls of this age should not be put under this kind of pressure but there are a lot of people out there who are making billions by selling loose morals to minors and they’re not about to stop anytime soon. Our only recourse is to counter the message with something good and wholesome and to do so in a way that insures girls will have plenty of peer relationships who can help them to resist the temptation to give in to the prevailing depravity.
Women of Grace is devoted to this sacred mission which is why we created Young Women of Grace. It not only teaches girls who they truly are, rather than who these trashy magazines and videos say they’re supposed to be, but the group setting gives them the “safe space” they need to feel good in their own skin – no matter what it happens to look like.
Just like in the adult groups, the girls quickly bond with each other while they discover and explore the beauty of authentic femininity and realize the great good it can bring into this hurting world. Having taught several of these groups myself, I can say that It changes them, strengthens them, empowers them. They come to the first class with their low self-esteem dragging behind them, and leave with new hope and a lot of new friends to share it with.
They’ll still see the Selena Gomez’ of the teen world in their magazines and music videos, but they’ll never see them the same way again.
That works for me!
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