As a kid growing up, your tastes in anything are quite limited. You won’t eat vegetables, you’ll only watch cartoons, and anything other than pop music is out of the question. This is where the debate comes in, how young is too young to expose children to pop music?
Pop music, while its sounds permeate the airwaves so thoroughly, also permeate our children’s heads with wrong ideas, as well as terminology that they may not realise its true meaning. Through the watching of these pop music videos, or listening and reenacting the lyrics, are we setting children up for a life full of promiscuity, disposable wealth and indifferent drug use?
During development and the beginning of puberty, most girls are attacked with images of sexualising women, as well as the ways in which these women gain success. Pop songs are just one manner of which that helps exemplify this situation. Who can honestly say that when they were younger and watching the video clip for ‘Baby Hit Me One More Time’ that they understood the sexual undertones of an ‘innocent’ school girl? I sure as hell didn’t, but I was so encouraged that someone who was only slightly older than myself, could get popular and famous just by dressing that way. Like any other girl that year, I wanted to dress as that particular Britney character at my next school dance.
This situation puts parents in a very difficult spot. Do they refuse and let their kids become unhappy, although it may save them face later on in life? Or do they agree, and let their kids oversexualise themselves before it’s even wanted on the other behalf?
Britney Spears actually has a fair amount to answer to. Her latest single ‘If You Seek Amy’ is rather obviously provocative. Haven’t figured it out yet? Say the title slow. Yep. F. U. C. K ME. Good one Britney, but we’re all onto you. Can you imagine having your four year old daughter running around mimicking her favourite Britney Spears and singing that song? With such lyrics like these, and millions more running around on the radio stations these days, it definitely begs the censorship question, as well as how young is too young for children.
Some radio stations do in fact have an age restriction in regards to what time and what lyrics are applicable in terms of demographics. While yes, this does technically fix the problem in a wide scale manner, there are of course going to be one or two people who are caught out by this function, as well as disadvantaging everyone else who doesn’t belong to a younger age. This is also cancelled out when the song is part of a Top 40 countdown, and is going to encourage more listeners. Censorship is also a bit pointless when it comes to music, as it’s one of those stigmas that is painfully obvious. For example, if you type the word ‘shit’ in an article, but write it as ‘sh**’, everyone knows what you’re referring to, and not only is it obvious, it becomes more blatant too.
Should there be an age restriction on pop music? Possibly. Maybe not even a restriction. Perhaps there should just be a further emphasis on teaching children classical basics, as well as introduction to instrumental playing earlier on in their development to aid brain function, and to deter sexual development before its time is due.
With children listening to Britney Spears and dressing provocatively, not only does it send out a bad message to the opposite sex, which creates oversexualisation, it also hurts the developmental process in which a child should go through in their own time.
Children performing pop music should also be taken into consideration. Miley Cyrus is definitely far too young to be performing and acting the way she does – Oh sure, her parents are musicians, and she’s talented. Oh, and Christian too. But that doesn’t stop the media from making her an oversexualised being in order to create controversy; it’s making her more sexual than a teenager her age should be.
I say, bring back the age of innocence. Bring back the days of the Partridge Family and the Brady Bunch, where sexual innuendo was low, outfits were modest and so were the lyrics. Give kids back their childhood, and avoid oversexualising them while they’re too young.
This isn’t to say, don’t educate them well in terms of sexual education and protection – Just don’t make them sluts before they’re even hitting puberty.