My daughter is 10 years old, and I'm raising her to have a highly critical eye when it comes to the media she consumes. I work in journalism, my husband works in advertising, and we are all too aware of how media not only the affects the self-image of our own daughter but that of her brothers and peers as well.
You can't hide from the media.
You can't censor every TV show or magazine or commercial your kid is exposed to. You can do everything in your power to try and ensure that your young teen doesn't come into contact with out-and-out pornography, but chances are, they'll run across a Carl's Jr. ad or see a Sports Illustrated with one of their favorite toys on the cover. I believe it is our job as parents to teach our kids to approach the media they consume with a critical eye, and the Academy Awards are the perfect classroom for that.
During the Emmys, I introduced my kid to the concept of #AskherMore, and we spent the show asking the red carpet celebs not just what designer they were wearing, but what their favorite books are and how their best friend inspired them. We booed loudly when celebrities were only asked who designed their gowns and jewelry. I made sure to point out the stars who were more diverse than the Jennifer Lawrences and the Emma Watsons, and we talked about how gorgeous stars like Kathy Bates and Viola Davis looked in their gowns, even though they may be a bit older than Lupita Nyong'o. And we talked about the advertising shown during the award show and whether or not it was effective in terms of wanting us to buy a product and showcasing the brand it was advertising in a positive way.
I'll let my kid stay up late tonight, even though it's a school night, to watch the Oscars with us. She'll nap this afternoon and probably still be tired tomorrow morning, but I think it's worth it to spend this time talking to her about sexism in the media. Plus, we both love seeing the pretty dresses.
Are you planning on watching with your own daughter? Leave us a comment on how you watch the Oscars with your own kids.
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