The Oogieloves - First Impressions of "New" Family Media
When I attended BlogHer 2012, I went to a session called 'The Power of Mom.' It was run by the creator of Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine, Kenn Viselman and his team of PR reps, the director, and company.
As I started to read the flyer that had been put out, I was struck by a few things. 1) It sounded a whole ton like 'One Million Moms.' If you haven't heard of them, they are dedicated to 'cleaning up the media.' I put that in quotes because they call out JC Penny for having Ellen Degeneres as their spokeswoman, and heaven forbid - she's a lesbian! What's next, a generation being raised by these heathens?!
Well, yup. Because JCP put out an ad for father's day that had two men. Oh the horror.
The reason I don't like OMM is because they are bigots. And when I thought I was sitting in a new version of them with Oogieloves, I started planning my escape route. The session was super small, maybe fifteen people total, but I was near the front and within arms reach of the creator, and if I left what if he stopped me. And I was horrified that I might need to run away, and it was partly rude, but I didn't want to get caught up in a shitstorm of hate.
But I stayed, and I'm kinda glad I did.
The message of 'the Power of Mom' is this - there is no real G rating anymore. Even Disney which is 'kid friendly' has messaged that mom isn't important and truly adult themes. I started to look at my own collection at home that I had retrieved from my parents and saw all the missing moms. Aladin - no parents, Hunchback - no parents (crazy religious father figure though super scary), Lion King - surviving mom (Mufasa dies, so at least Sarabi makes the cut), Little Mermaid - no mom, only crazy strict dad, Pocahontas - dad, with spirit-y mom, but in general the parents are not represented well.
My favorite by far was Mulan - transvestite with both parents that survive. Win.
Basically I want to see this movie because it says there are no bad guy, no loss, it is teaching love and treating the movie as a stage play where the audience participates. It kind of reminds me of Bear in the Big Blue House, but I just want to see why this could be possible.
Part of me says, fuck it. Children have to grow up, learn that the world isn't sparkles and rainbows, it is los and hurt and frustration and bad situations. Parents don't always stay together, and there is adversity. No job or college or internship takes a kid that had a perfect home life, who lived an easy life. Our society treasures those that flourish in pain and hardship. No matter how smart you are, if you are white, upper-middle class, straight man - you will always lose to someone that had to struggle in life.
'Family friendly media' can mean a lot of things, and perhaps I need to start writing guides to questions that may arise when Z really starts to watch movies and take in media that way. She can't sit still for a movie, and only watches when there is singing (and again, the AAP says no screen time before age 2, but I can already tell you that Z doesn't fit that criteria).
Should I be sheltering Z? At what point to I tell her princesses and santa aren't real and its time to grow up?
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