The Pop Culture War   Leave a comment

One of the perks of homeschooling for me has been being able to control the amount or kind of pop culture to which my children are exposed.  When our 19 and 15 yr old boys were young, it was easy to pass on all the popular toys and gadgets being marketed to kids.  Power Rangers, Pokemon, Furby, Tamagotchis and videos games all passed us by.  I wasn’t about to let a bunch of corporate executives sitting in a glass boardroom at some big toy company decide what my kids should own, watch, or wear. A tv show geared toward kids just can’t be watched – it has to be marketed.  Marketers want you to have to buy the toys to go with it and the clothing line. I remember when the movie, Toy Story, came out. My parents took the boys to McDonalds and they came home with Woody and Buzz Lightyear from the Happy Meals. I have nothing against good ol’ Woody and Buzz – great characters in a great story.  But what I noticed when the boys played with them, is that they were always… Woody and Buzz.  There was no imagination needed.  They already had names and a personality. That’s the power of pop culture – the culture does the thinking and imagining, and the masses are expected to buy into it and follow.

We are marketed to by the corporate world from the moment of birth. If they can get parents to decorate the nursery with Disney characters, buy character bowls and cups, and watch Baby Einstein (also owned by Disney), then they’ve got you hooked.  Chances are pretty good that at some point money will be spent at the place where dreams come true – Disney World. Disney, of course, is not the only corporate giant, but it’s one that specifically targets children.  If children learn to blindly follow corporate advertising while they’re young – they more likely will be followers of fads and trends for the rest of their lives – filling the pockets of corporate giants.

We continue on fighting the pop culture war with our girls, ages 12,7 and 4.  I rejoice over the fact that we have not been sucked into the Hannah Montana craze, the Silly Band fad, or having to know the names of the lovely Disney princesses. I don’t go out of my way to avoid these pop culture fads – they just aren’t a part of our life.  But as the kids get older, there is a need to help them learn to navigate through this pop culture bombardment. Basically, I tell them to not let others do their thinking, whether it be a single person or a multimillion dollar corporation, God gave them their own mind to decide what they like – don’t give that power over to pop culture.


Posted January 1, 2011 by The Nonconformist Mom in Uncategorized

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