Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hope You're Proud of Yourself, MTV

So this morning I was browsing the interwebz, sipping on my iced coffee, and trying to keep pop-tart crumbs from getting everywhere as little Took sat in my lap and munched his (not incredibly healthy) breakfast.

And I happened upon an article about one of the girls from Teen Mom.  (I call her a "girl" because she is a girl.  If it ever becomes apparent that she has made the leap to womanhood, I will adjust this post accordingly.)

This was not the exact article that I was reading this morning, but it's close enough:

So. . . now that I'm typing, I don't even really know what to say about this. . .

She is of legal age (I can only assume), so I suppose she is free to do whatever she wants.  And, believe it or not, I'm not judging her.

I do not think she is a "bad" person.

It's just that reading this article makes me want to cry.

It's not so much that porn stars exist. . . because they have for quite some time.  The oldest profession, and all that.  I guess the real problem that I have with this is that this is just a GIRL.  Obviously a bit of a dim bulb, but someone's daughter nonetheless.

And she is just one of countless others that found herself willing to do literally anything for fifteen minutes of scandalous fame.

What was she thinking?? I found myself asking.

And the answer is:  She was thinking she wanted to be famous. 

She wanted her name on the web, and she didn't care how it got there.  She wanted pretty little things to dress herself in, and pretty little things to drive around in, and pretty little cocktails to drink in pretty little bars where you have to be "somebody" to get past the velvet rope.

. . .And apparently this is all it takes to be "somebody" today.

She was probably thinking that Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian, and God only knows who else, made sex tapes, got their names in the headlines, and then recovered from it well enough, no real damage done, and that she could, too.

What she was probably NOT thinking is that once you have destroyed your dignity, it is gone.  And getting it back is a tough road that many aren't willing to travel.

We are born naked into this world, and screaming.  Hopefully, we have loving parents that take the time to guide us and patiently direct us, and to teach us what it is to be noble, and true, and strong.

And we then take that nobility and truth and strength, and hope against hope that it is enough to guide us through the pitfalls of this life.

In a very real way, in times of trouble, terror, and strife, our dignity is all that we have.

And this child has tossed hers to the wind.  Exchanged it for the chance of being a recognizable face, with no care at all as to what she is being recognized FOR.

And yes.  My heart weeps for that.

I'm not saying that I'm better than her, because I'm not.  We all have to find our way through this world.  We are all on our own paths; all learning the same lessons, just in different ways.

And while I would REALLY like to shake my fist and roll my eyes at "society", and demand accountability not only for this girl but for every one out there like her. . . I can't.  Because I am a PART of society, am I not?

She is not just that nameless "someone's" daughter.  She is MY daughter.  And yours, as well.

And we have failed her.

We have failed her by making it cute, and profitable, and not really that big a deal, to get rich off of a sex tape.  We've failed her by glamorizing those that have failed to offer any real contribution to society.  We've failed her by making it seem that the important things in life are things that fit on your wrist, in your pocket, or in your garage.  We've failed her by letting a television do the majority of the at-home parenting, and by accepting the ridiculous, mindless shit that we see on it as something we can't do anything about.  By having a mindset of "Oh well, I guess that's just the new normal."

We've failed her by saving our pedestals for our Princesses, and pushing our peace-makers to the back.

And we have failed her by making all of this possible.  By NOT drawing a line, and saying "Here it is!  HERE is the line!  THIS FAR, and NO FARTHER!"

. . .In the world we live in, parenting is quickly becoming the most difficult, and sacred duty that one could have.

And with so many among us ignoring this simple fact, I feel that it falls to the rest of us to pick up the slack.

Even if you don't HAVE children, by your example of what a good, and decent, and FULL life is --- you are a teacher.

And so am I.

And my teaching is going to begin with turning off the tv.

I won't watch MTV.  (And no.  This is not a boycott.  Boycotts want attention.  This is merely a personal choice.)

I won't watch ANY network that glamorizes idiocy and panders to the lowest common denominator.

I won't view it as simply a "guilty pleasure."  Because BY this guilty pleasure, we are inadvertently SHOWING our children what is acceptable and what is NOT.

I will draw the line.

But I won't stop there. . .

I will TEACH my child.

I will teach him about nature, and beauty, and art.  I will show him that standing outside on a sunny, windswept day is about the best feeling in the world.

I will encourage wonder, and questions, and do my best to strengthen creativity.

I will lead by example.

I will show him the magic of books, and music, friendship, and love.  I will teach him the joy of a really good meal, shared with the ones that mean the most to you in the world. 

I will do my best to show him a quiet life, and the beauty therein.

I will show forgiveness, and patience.

I won't exalt money, and I won't spend my life chasing things that will all be removed once I am buried.

I will teach him what is sacred.

And, if I am successful, I will teach him above all to love, and honor, that which is sacred in himself.