My eldest daughter has told us that she is too old for “baby shows” I.e. Cartoons. She wants to watch Disney and Nickelodeon shows…with teenagers…and commercials.
So, she has to watch the shows with either my husband or me and as we are watching the shows she has to answer:
1. Who is the show saying is pretty?
2. Do they all look alike? Let’s count how many people that are “pretty or popular” have short hair, curly hair, different sizes, different races, etc.
3. What does the show say about “coolness?” How does their definition compare to what you think it means to be “cool”
4. Ditto for “smart,” “nerd,” “weird”, “ugly”, or “uncool.”
5. Does it seem important for the girl on the show to get a boyfriend? If yes, why do you think that is?
6. Does it seem important for the boy on the show to be “cool or popular?” If so, what are some of the ways the shows say that.
7. Do the “uncool/unpopular/un pretty,” people on the show seem as happy as the “cool/popular/pretty,” kids?
8. Do you think maya should watch this show? Why or why not?
9. How many people on this show look like you and/or your friends?
10. Commercials- what are they selling. How are they trying to make you think you want/need the item? Did it work? If so, why? If not, why do you think some commercials make you want things and others don’t? Is it you or the type of commercial? (Rule: you can’t ask for anything you see on s commercial, because that means you’ve been tricked. Unless you can explain it by answering the abovementioned questions to our satisfaction.
We’re hoping it either a) raises her critical awareness and critical thinking about subtle media messages or b) makes her so frustrated she just goes back to PBS shows on netflixs.
I would MUCH rather have option B! Being a parent is hard!!