By: Jesse Jones
As an entertainment reporter (oh and hi, I’m an entertainment reporter), it is my responsibility to be as in-the-know of what passes for entertainment as humanly possible. But, sadly, I’m getting older, I’ll be dead soon, as far as most advertisers are concerned, and the sad truth is that the direction of mainstream entertainment is not determined by those of us that know what is and isn’t good and entertaining, as it rightfully should be, but by those with the most disposable babysitting income: the American teens. It’s gotten to the point now that I have not been a teen for longer than I was one, so clearly I don’t know shit about shit anymore. Therefore, in an effort to get back in touch with the happenings and goings-on of the mainstream and to get the pulse for what teens are choosing, I pulled on my most ironic T-shirt and set my hamburger phone to vibrate as I settled in to watch the 2009 Teen Choice Awards on Fox…and never was I more confused about who famous people were and for why.
The evening’s entertainment (?) was hosted by two regular Jonas Brothers and one brave, heroic Jonas Brother who every day struggles mightily with the scourge of diabetes coursing through his body, making his every cookie decision a harrowing one, you know, so that we might live. For those of you not intimately familiar with the Jonii, they are a trio of varyingly adorable musicians who somehow got it into their heads that they’re better than all of you because they’ve taken to wearing anti-vagina power rings. As I see it, wearing a ring that magically prevents you from having sex sounds more like a gypsy curse than a morally superior jewelry choice. After taking in the night’s festivities, it seems painfully obvious that the Jonasasies are the only teens in the country choosing not to give another fellow teen the old ring finger.
It’s been said ad nauseum that teens and tweens, and twinfants, for that matter, are being over exposed to, and thus desensitized by, an excessive amount of sexual imagery in TV, music and movies. But since I am no longer a teen and it is highly illegal for someone like me to talk to teens about sex, I’ve always just assumed that to be hogwash — bunk, even! Hokum! I now realize that my previous doubt was just due to my strongly held belief that there is no such thing as excessive sexual imagery.
Whether it is due to teenage hormones influencing entertainment, or men in business suits making sure enough emo vampire skin is showing to sell a couple more lunch boxes, the correlation is undeniable, from the confused, longing, pre-pubescent shrieks of the tween-stuffed crowd every time a Jonas Jonased something, or if someone on stage even thought the word “Twilight” to Miley Cyrus’ be-hot-pantsed, deep-squat pelvic thrusts as she emerged from her trailer park set-piece to open her musical performance, it’s pretty apparent that what teens most often choose are the groins of other teens. That’s not overly surprising, I suppose, if I remember my own teen groin correctly, but the true sign that things have clearly gone too far in the wrong direction with this whole damned thing was in the awarding of their top honour (the extra “u” is for extra “Teen”), the “Ultimate Choice Award” to Ms. Britney Spears. You can scarcely find anyone in the entertainment industry to serve as a worse example of the problems with over sexualizing teens than Mama Spears, or find someone less suited to receive such accolades as a role model for teenage girls, or teen mothers, or pill-fueled, head-shaving, twat-flashing lunatics even.
But who’s really at fault here? Someone must be blamed because we no longer live in a world of personal accountability.
What it boils down to is this: I have no problem with the over-sexualization of teenagers. Wait… What I mean is: since the first cave tweens turned the pre-historic equivalent and stopped worrying about being eaten by dinosaurs, they’ve been testing out what their previously vestigial parts do. That’s what we as animals do.
My problem is how creepy old businessmen and touchy uncle executives use, manipulate and position teens (usually in only the most non-prosecutable ways) to profit off of their sexuality, because for every Mickey Mouse Club version 1.0 Britney Spears out there, you know there’s a team of lecherous sleaze-balls in expensive, ill-fitting suits nudging her forward, telling her that if she just dirties it up a little more, she can sell a couple more ringtones (and I never imagined I’d be running to the defense of Brit-brit, but such has the direction of this piece gone). Then, once they’ve squeezed every last drop of revenue from these misguided celebutwats, they toss them aside for the next Hannah Montana in the pipeline and begin the whole process all over again.
It’s all an endless cycle, perpetuated by the people on top using, destroying and discarding people solely for their own over-stuffed pocketbooks, with no regard for the devastation they wreak and the lives they destroy in the name of their next private jet or “research excursion” to Thailand…
Or maybe I’m just upset that Billy Ray Cyrus beat Matthew Settle for Choice TV Parental Unit. I mean, that’s total BS, y’all! m i rite? LOL BFF TTYL BRB GFYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!