Friday, 28 February 2014

Sheltered as a snow cave

Okay,  so it's been a while since I've posted anything. Entirely my fault, I'm not gonna lie. In any case, I'm back now, and I intend to make this a habit. Anyway, there is something specific I wanted to post about, rather than just making excuses. Here we go.

So I recently watched Frozen. Yes, I know, it's great (and also everywhere). The characters were super relatable, seeing as I have two sisters myself and I would probably do anything for them. However, something that's been niggling at my mind is a tv show that I watched some weeks ago while waiting at a doctor's office; a daytime talk show where a woman was complaining about the uncannily thin and large-eyed appearance of the characters, and how it would be a bad influence of young girls.

...I know. But some people do think like that, and that's what worries me. Let me explain my reasoning.

It's not the first time I've encountered the view that Disney could be a bad influence on girls. In fact, my sister's legal studies teacher was sheltering her own children from it, because she believed it to perpetuate the stereotype that girls need saving; that they should be damsels in distress. And though it seems reasonable on the surface, I have a few problems with this.

The first is the shelter aspect. Controlling your children's television and movies may seem like a great way to influence their personalities, but what if they're not interested in what you want to show them? A child is a human being, just like you. I someone was telling you to watch twilight, wouldn't you be a bit miffed? (I just had to, sorry).

Secondly, I'm doubtful about the effect that these shows may potentially have on their minds. Having loved fairytales all my life, I would be the first to tell you that there's nothing to worry about. The appeal of fairytales is their fantasy; they often contain princes and princesses, along with at least a touch of magic. It is their inaccessibility which draws us; we know we will never be a princess or a hero, but we can dream about living in that world.

'Hold on!' I hear you cry. 'But these are children we're talking about, they can't possibly think that critically.' I know, I know. But that brings me to my last point: Education. If you don't like the message that a tv show is sending, how about you simply tell your kids that? Teach them that not everything they watch is grounded in truth; that some things need to be taken with a pinch of salt. They're much more likely to listen to their parents than to some movie. And you will be teaching them one of the most valuable lessons they are likely to learn: scepticism.

I have a knitting pattern to post, so if I don't do that soon, give me a textual slap on the wrist or something. Happy watching!

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