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Lolitas Bad Role Models

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco - November 24th 2006

NABOKOV WOULD HAVE turned over in his grave. His infamous title character, whose name has joined the English vernacular to mean a pre-adolescent, sexually precocious girl, has spawned a whole new category—the Media Lolita.

Buxom young babes have always graced the covers of entertainment mags like Rolling Stone and Playboy, but the cover of Forbes? When the magazine featured a cover article on Britney Spears in March, the widespread power of the sultry young nymphette could officially be called a trend.

Female Offenders

There are Lolitas, and then there are those who just play them on TV and film. Where only supermodels were once promoted as sexpots and covergirls, female musicians and athletes have joined the ranks of many an adolescent fantasy.

Pop music may have the worst offenders. Britney Spears, Lil' Kim, and Christina Aguilera promote the image of the young temptress in their racy music videos, scantily-clad photographs, and brash lyrics. 18-year-old Spears caused a sensation with the skimpy t-shirt and bare midriff she revealed in the video for her hit song, "Baby One More Time."

Spears herself defends her choice of outfit. "I only wear these crop tops because other clothes would make me sweat when I dance," she told Germany's InStyle magazine.

The sports industry has created just as many lusty images. During last year's World Cup soccer final, Brandi Chastain created a maelstrom when she took off her jersey to celebrate the team's 5-4 victory. Tennis pro Anna Kournikova was recently featured in a multi-page spread in Sports Illustrated, posed in a bed with lots of pouty glances. Interestingly enough, most of the glamour shots had not a tennis ball or racket in sight.

Famous Screen Vixens

Who can forget Jodie Foster's crass-mouthed young prostitute in Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic Taxi Driver? Or a rosy-cheeked Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, when she was only 12 years old? Both actresses caused a stir when their performances revealed a sultriness beyond their adolescent years.

Recently, Anna Paquin delivered an eye-grabbing performance as an adolescent temptress in the movie adaptation of David Rabe's LA-saturated play Hurlyburly. Her wild-child vagabond nearly stole the gritty movie from male co-star Sean Penn. And Paquin is not alone: The Wonder Boys' Katie Holmes, Stealing Beauty's Liv Tyler, and Cruel Intentions' Sarah Michelle Gellar have all raised the bar for young females seducing their older male counterparts. Even bad girl Shannen Doherty had made a name for herself by playing bitchy roles like Brenda on the imminently successful Fox TV show, Beverly Hills 90210.

Youth Market

Maybe it was The Spice Girls (or their publicists) who did it best: zeroed in on the pre-teen girls' market. Though the popular 90's girl band claimed to deliver a feminist message, their arguably racy costumes and tough, sexy image was the group's trademark. (Did The Bangles ever streak their hair or wear fishnet stockings?)

David Plotz, in the online magazine Slate, captured the Spice Girls' tricky marketing. "The high point—or, depending on your view, the low point—of Spice promotion is the group's Pepsi deal. The Spice Girls wrote a commercial jingle for Pepsi's "Generation Next" ad campaign. Then they included the jingle on Spiceworld. You hear the jingle, you buy the album. You buy the album, you hear the jingle...This is what businesspeople call synergy and musicians call prostitution. Whatever it is, it pays. According to some estimates, the five girls stand to earn $300 million in the next year."

And Spears' triumphant cover photo in Forbes not only showed her sexy navel, but accompanied the headline, "The New Stars of Money." Maybe the old adage proves true: today's media lolitas know that sex sells.


The Truth on the Ban on Britney Spears

Jay Tioleco - November 24th 2006

Dear Members of the Parents Music Resource Center,

In the past you have expressed your opinions and concerns over the children of America and the disruptive music that may influence. According to you, rock music contributes to the growing rates of rape (up 7%) and suicide between the age of 16 and 24 (up 300%)over the past three decades. Another rate that is affected is the teen pregnancy rate which remains one of the highest among developed countries. In this generation, where children seem to be even more influential, our society must look at the music that are harmful to today's youth.

In these times, those rates are not solely do to Ozzy Osbourne singing Suicide Solutions, Blue Oyster Cult with Don't fear the Reaper AC/DC and Shoot to Thrill. The music industry has become very slick in putting destructive messages in our children's minds. The worst part about it is they are profiting in millions with this destructive music. I have witnessed youngsters as young as 6 years olds affected by this musical terrorism. It is up to society to take a stand and prevent any further harm to the youth of America in order for them to have a promising tomorrow.

The music in which I talk about is obviously that of Ms. Britney Spears. She is being followed in a cult-like way by millions of children, especially pre-teens. The record industry is blindfolding children with her southern innocence are her beauty to strike with the immoral objectives of infiltrating influential and innocent minds with smut. Her large hit singles have the most popularity and the strongest messages. When I heard 6 year olds repeating her lyrics, I was surprised with what they were saying.

Take her first hit single --Baby One More Time. In this song alone does she encourage sex, suicide, and the degrading of females. The lyric of --My loneliness is killing me now-- encourages youngsters that being lonely will kill you and further says --Hit me baby one more time. Is this honestly the correct solution to deal with a sad situation. The lyric clearly states that physical harm is the solution. This is supported by orgasmic groans made throughout the song. These absurd lyrics are hidden with catch and attractive music.

The Truth on the Ban on Britney

This ban on Britney is not a literal attack on Britney Spears. It is a example of how outrageous censors in the music industry, the media, and so-called "concerned citizens" can be. The Parents Music Resource Center is a committee founded by the wives of several congressmen aimed at censoring music that disrupts today's youth, specifically rock music. Among the founders are: Tipper Gore, wife of Tennessee Senator Albert Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Georgie Packwood, wife of Oregon Senator Robert Packwood; and Nancy Thurmond, wife of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. They claim that rock music is a cause of many problems. In all do respect, it seems as they are using rock music as a scapegoat to many problems. The media and high rank officials continue to use rock music as the reason for problems as seen during incidents such as the Columbine shootings.

If media and other "concerned citizens" attack rock music they should also look at other genre's of music including pop music such as Britney Spears. Any song can contain a wrong message if one really puts their mind to it and it seems many people are putting their minds to making rock the worst. But as shown in the letter on the Ban on Britney, pop too can contain bad messages and that is listened to by many impressionable pre-teens. It is kind of ironic how bands such as Slipknot are criticized for their lyrics when in actuality one cannot fully understand the words because of the style of music, yet in songs such as Ricky Martin, one can clearly hear She Bangs. Also, one may notice that America is one of the few countries that encourage this "censorship" on music. In many countries where English is not even spoken, the so called "disruptive rock music" is heard and the people there do not get wrong messages put in their head. They do it for the appreciation for the music and that too is what the censors of

America should allow everyone to do, appreciate the music. Its incredible that the media blamed Rammstein for violence such as Columbine. How would the children be told to do such wrong deeds when the band does not even sing in English. If translated, some of their songs talk about puppies and smelling good. How can that possibly lead to someone killing others? If, someone commit a crime and listens to Classical music, will Classical music be under fire? Hannibal Lector liked Classical music and he killed, therefore classical music is bad. That analogy is what many are saying about rock music and its listeners.

Music can be influential but should not be the only influence. Research has proven that music is not the main influence in one's life. Daniel Offer, a Northwestern University psychiatrist, suggest that teen-agers' values and behaviors reflect those of the adults who rear them. Adults have the right to raise their children in any way they want but instead of just complaining about rock music or outside influences, they should be good role models and not rely on superficial things. They should also educate their children on how to have a mind of their own. One should not blame rock music for the cause of their child's actions.

If we censor or blame rock, we should censor pop music and every other type of music that might offend someone. That means there would be no music in the world. Music is a beautiful art. Let's not relinquish it by looking for negatives affects and negatives only. And like many aspects of life, people are scared because something is different and they don't understand it. Since they don't understand it, it must be bad. Isn't this what society is trying us to teach us not to do, yet these "concerned citizens" are doing the opposite with rock music. Let's not hate, rather appreciate.

Good role model?

Britney Spears insists she is a role model for young girls despite recent revealing magazine covers and her new album with sexually explicit lyrics, the British Broadcasting Corp. said Sunday.

The 21-year-old pop star said parents should not be worried if their children want to copy her.

"I probably have more older fans than the younger ones, but I think the reason why everyone talks about the younger fans so much is because the parents are concerned," Spears was quoted as saying. "And in the end they shouldn't be concerned because they should trust their kids and believe in their kids."

About her recent way too sexy photos, "I've just recently done some covers that are a little bit explicit and sexy. And a lot of people do think this is very over-explicit, but that's their opinion."

Spears, who kissed Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards, also talked about her relationship with the singer, saying there was a special connection between them.

"She's like my godmother in a way. I don't listen to that many people, I'm a very stubborn person. When someone tells me not to do something, I do it, that's just my rebellious nature," Spears said.

The star, criticized for drinking and smoking in public, urged people to be realistic.

"If you go out and have red wine with your dinner it's like, 'Oh my gosh, she's drinking, Britney was caught smoking.' You know, people have to realize you're human just like anyone else and people have to give you a break a little," she said.

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