Wednesday, June 26, 2013

the new normal?

media has really twisted our physical ideals. that's not news to you, i'm sure but here's why i am writing this...back in the 90s, i adored Dharma and  Greg. i especially adored Jenna Elfman as Dharma and remember thinking how tall and willowy she was. just the other day i was at the mama a-go-gos and in control of the television remote and noticed Dharma & Greg was on the TV so i clicked over and was surprised to see a Dharma that looked not as willowy as i remembered. it was the same old Dharma but my perspective had been skewed from all the thinner-than-thin ladies we see on television, in film and on magazine covers. what is wrong with us?

back in the 70s, 80s and 90s even, our teens on television looked like teens. they looked like kids. they were still soft and slightly baby-faced. the girls on Facts of Life would never be cast if the show was up for a redo. they even did an episode on eating disorders. On Growing Pains, Tracy Gold played teenager Carol and battled with anorexia and still had her character be the brunt of repeated fat jokes. Even at her thinnest on the show, she still does not compare with today's Gossip Girls and the like.

The original Beverly Hills, 90210 was revolutionary for its time. Teens playing teens and still looking a lot like teens and dealing with teen issues. Today's twisted version of the show is so upside down I can't tell if it is modeling today's kids or are they modeling it? The actors are too cut, too super hero looking, all thin and pointy-angular. I still believe kids and I mean to included young adults in the term as well, should be kid-like. They should look young and heart happy. They're kids, life shouldn't be so troubling and hard. My soon-to-be-fifteen-year-old niece had a FB when she was 13 and still managed to maintain a young heart, but spidering out to peek at her various friends' pages had me worried. I know much of it was bravado and most of those young people have no clue and I know teens experiment with all sorts of things but thirteen is too young. Fourteen is too young. I was a pretty "good" kid but still, my growing up began around the second half of my 15th year.

When the old boy-a-go-go (also known as danny boy) was 15 and began his young adulthood he still thought we a-go-gos were cooler than his mom so he shared stories with us and as much as I worried about his unbroken little heart and soul, I knew he needed to feel free and confident to do what his 15 year old self yearned to do. He's 23 now and still feeling out the world. Heck, I'm 42 and still feeling things out.

I don't know, I worry about who is shaping our culture. Pop culture used to be just that but now it seems it is the norm. It is an norm that has me worried. What ever happened to ABY NORMAL?


  1. Love your blog. Love your crafts. Love that you speak from your heart.
    Media has made kids grow up in Media's twisted shadow.
    We regularly watch "old" movies .... I want my kids to be acquainted with MORALS and laughter (but not always at another's expense as is prevalent today ) ... All 3 of my kids could tell you "who" Aby Normal" is (abnormal brain in a jar... thanks to Mel Brooks' interpretation in Young Frankenstein!), Judy Garland (although I've failed - they haven't seen enough Andy Hardy movies and don't know Micky on sight ), Star Wars and Star Trek (TV and movie incarnations), "old" musicals... and we comment on the TV that's on, and mostly don't watch it. We go to church and fear God. I've raised them that way.
    As a teacher of 35 years, I can tell you that Most parents today were raised with permissivie parents that did not hold them accountable and sat them infront of "Friends" alongside them - which in my opinion was the seemingly innocuous downfall of American Morality. their children have iphones at age 7, and feel entitled... no matter whtat the social background.
    You keep going and speak your heart. There are plenty of people ready to crucify us all... they've been raised on Oprah and Maury and Judge Judy and Reality junk shows. Manners are almost as non exsistent as morals these days.
    HANG IN THERE, GIRL. You are not alone!

    1. It is most delightful to know that there are people parenting in an old school style. I grew up on musicals and old movies and even back then it was considered odd. I am sure your children thoroughly enjoy the classics. While I understand the cell phone obsession, I wonder if people remember that we grew up without phones and we turned out all right. A friend and I often comment on creating a March on Manners parade of sorts. I hope people put their phones down soon and reconnect with those standing next to them.