I caught this article on HelloGiggles via Facebook last night, blasting Selena Gomez’s new song, “Come And Get It” — and it’s gotten me all sorts of annoyed. But that’s nothing new, since each time I read something that blames pop stars for being bad influences on young girls, I immediately cringe and roll my eyes. I mean, who’s the parent?
It’s such an old, yawn-inducing cop out.
I can remember riding in the backseat of my friend’s parents’ car in 1991, when Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up” (you’re welcome — good luck getting it out of your head) came on the radio. I remember feeling torn, because it was a popular song and I wanted to sing along to it — but also embarrassed because my friend’s parents were present, and…well, the song repeated the word sex over and over. I was 10 years old. I knew it was an adult thing, but I had no real feelings toward it, and I didn’t even know exactly what the song was implying. I think I thought by wanting to “sex the girl up”, he meant really wanted to dance provocatively with her at someone’s birthday party at Secrets.
I never listened to kid’s tapes in the car. We listened to the radio. And, whenever a sex-y song came on — from Paula Abdul to Janet Jackson to Madonna — my mom never once got all flustered and flew forward to shut it off and hide it from me. No. And, she certainly didn’t write a hipster blog post complaining about how women should basically be sexually ambiguous, never, ever talk or (gasp) sing about sex, and should just shut up and exist.
And look how awesome I turned out!
So, I can’t help but wonder if maybe when people get all upset over reading into a silly pop song, they’re forcing their children to take things way too seriously when they don’t have to. By telling young girls that pop stars aren’t role models, yet getting all upset when the non-role models do something we don’t like, we’re validating that they in fact do have power of influence.
I also thought we got this out of our systems with Britney Spears.
And really, give girls enough credit to know that they understand how to separate celebrity from reality, appreciate art for entertainment and will grow up to make up their own minds about their feelings. Man, putting all the responsibility of raising a strong, smart, capable woman nowadays on pop stars like Selena Gomez is giving these overproduced non-talents waaay too much credit. I mean, Debbie Gibson didn’t change anything about my life.
And, p.s. — I happen to find SG’s song to be quite catchy (again, you’re welcome and good luck).