April 28, 2006

Small Victory for the Secret Magazine Police

OK, I'll admit it. I HATE all the skin being shoved in my face 24/7. I don't go to see movies hardly at all anymore because most movies are just an excuse to show a lot of "T & A" as my husband calls it. I don't care to see every 16 year old's navel or butt cheeks (peeking out under their non-existent shorts) in the mall. I don't think my little boy needs to, either. I shake my head in wonder at what parents let their teenagers put on these days (or the lack of what they put on). I mean, WHO is the parent? Who is in control? WHAT are they thinking?

Last year, we saw two teenage girls, half naked, briskly walking through the mall with a little infant in tow. The little girl was barely old enough to walk (poor thing), and the mother was practically dragging the child along as it's little bare feet rushed to hurry and keep pace with her. When she stumbled, her uncaring mother scolded her - "how DARE she inconvenience her and slow her down?!" No baby could walk as fast as she was wanting her to move. It looked as if the teen would pull her baby's arm right out of it's tiny socket. I felt so awful for that child. I also felt awful for the teenager. What a sad life that her mother and father had not taught her better than to run off and jump in the sack with the first boy who took her parking.... And why would they let her "park" with some kid anyway? She couldn't have been more than 16.

Oh, my heart aches for the young teenagers of this world. With images of nudity and sex surrounding them from such a young age.... even their Barbie's and "BRATZ" look like hookers (yet I've even seen grandparents buying these trashy toys for their elementary age granddaughters). What kind of women will these kids grow up to be if they think you have to be half naked, lacquer yourself with "face-paint" and wear a size "00" to win a man's heart? Let us just imagine for one second the full gravity of where this slippery road could lead... OUR DAUGHTERS on a stripper's pole or "knocked up" or working tricks downtown for cash. Is that what we want for our little girls' futures? Is that how we want our grandkids to enter the world? Unplanned, un-wanted, or worse... terminated?

This is one of my biggest pet peeves, so I usually go up to the counters every time I go to the grocery store and turn the magazines around if they have too much skin showing (I'm not talking about arms and even a little bit of leg). Especially in the summer, the magazines start getting tackier and tackier. For the past six months, the grocery store nearest to me has been my main target. The REALLY bad magazines with string bikinis and inappropriate cleavage on the front cover end up shoved way under the racks on the floor. No one needs to see that trash, right? They can build another room and label it "Porno Shop" if they want to sell that trash. It should NOT be at eye-level for my elementary age kids to see. I have been known to do these kinds of things in book stores as well.

Tonight all my hard work paid off (or at least that's how I felt). I had a small victory that I thought I would share with you - in case you wanted to start harassing your own nearest grocery store. As we were checking out, I went up to a few stands and "re-arranged" their displays. I noticed that the Cosmo had a black plastic cover in front of it. I was shocked! Wow - a little modesty for a change. You could still BUY the magazine and SEE the name "Cosmo" up top... but the half naked chick was discreetly covered by black opaque plastic. Now, I call that a compromise! I don't know if it was me that helped prompt them to start using the plastic... but I'm sure glad I don't have to be the covert magazine police anymore (at least not for the "Cosmo" Magazine). Now if only they could get a few covers on the rest of them!

If you want other ideas for helping curb the sex-assault on our kids, you can also WRITE to your local grocery store chains, convenience store chains, book stores, and other stores that carry large magazine displays (which you deem to be tacky). I have written to quite a few stores in the past also (note to self - need to do this again). Ask them to put the magazines which show an inappropriate amount of skin for children to see up high and out of reach. Ask them to please cover them with plastic except for the name on the top of the magazine's cover. Tell them thank you for protecting the innocence of America's children! Be sure to let them know that you appreciate it when they comply. Give them some good advertisement as a reward. If they give you trouble, then get involved in politics. Boycott them. Rearrange their displays. Give them bad publicity. Start a petition. Get involved in the primary elections when you have the chance to join up and help set issues in motion. Write your local representatives. You can make a difference!

Just think about it. If we all do a little of this... and the magazines start loosing profit... maybe they will clean up their act also (keeping the covers clean and hopefully the contents as well)! If everyone acts on their conscience and gets involved in the fight, the message we could send to Hollywood, Magazine Editors, and Billboard Companies could rock the world and help set it right (at least on this one issue). Apathy is our only enemy. Jesus promises that the gates of Hell can not stand against us when we pray and act in His Name.

This issue is apparently not just a local one. Look at what people are saying across the pond: BBC News

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Anonymous said...

Oh I SO agree! Coming from one who used to "be on that pole", it HAS gotten so much worse. I am always amazed at what can be seen out there. And when I think it can't get any worse, it does.
I wondered a few weeks ago what half-naked women have to do with sports......seriously-the only had bikini bottoms on and had their arms crossed over their bare chests. It was sickening.

The letter from Morgan to Anne Rice was PRECIOUS! I hope she gets a reply from her!


Sprittibee said...

Thanks for the comment Heather. Yes, the sights these days really are sickening. What is sad is that men USE women like that and CHOOSE wives from women who AREN'T like that. The desire for attention and "love" should lead women to want to be honorable and worthy mates. Any man can catch a hooker. And any hooker can catch a morally bankrupt man. The two go hand in hand. The end is only YUCK (loneliness and disease) for both.

Thanks for the Anne Rice letter comments. I hope she writes Morgan. Morgan has such a sweet heart.

Love in Him,

Isaac Garcia said...

I agree totally. It's hard to teach children respect for women when they can turn the TV on or look at a magazine cover and see women disrespecting themselves. I pray that more people can step up and say no to the way that women are being portrayed in magazines. It's horrible for humanity as a whole; for men and women. God bless,

Sprittibee said...

Thanks for your comment Isaac. It is nice to know that men also feel the same way. I know my husband gets disgusted at all the trash shoved at him. I have always wondered if he was unique in this aspect. I have met plenty of men in my life who are morally bankrupt, so it is such a blessing to meet men who are taking a stand for the Lord.

Rina said...

As a non-American I'm just curious. Is it the nakedness that is the issue here, or just the way that womens' bodies (and mens'too, for that matter,)are portrayed?

It was a huge cultural shock for me when we lived for a year in the USA to get used to the way nakedness (even within the family) is taboo in the USA. In Germany, for instance, public breastfeeding or learning to nurse discreetly is not an issue and there are no changing facilities at public lakes.

Sprittibee said...


Well, in a biblical society we are called to purity. I hardly would call today's America biblical, but our foundations are based upon a people almost entirely governed by biblical thought. It is hard to remain pure in thought (if you are a man) when you are surrounded by images of naked women. Even for girls, it is hard to remain pure... because when you are young, you think that you must look like the slutty super-models or rock stars that gloss the cover of magazines if you, too are going to grow up and attract a man. It is the wrong kind of image, and attracts the wrong kind of man. I don't like looking at naked men, either. The body is made in the image of God and He desires us to be in a sacred and holy union with either ONLY Him or ONLY our spouse. God requires us through scripture to be faithful and pure. Purity is keeping yourself from thoughts that might lead you to sin or cheat.

Other books that you might check out on this topic are:

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ


Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America

As for breastfeeding, there are a lot of women who breastfeed in today's society. They just use shawls or go to the restroom to do so. Some women's restrooms are not set up well for this, I admit... and as a breastfeeding mother, I completely sympathize. I often went to my car and sat in comfort (at the time we had a minivan with a nice long back seat I could recline on) rather than sit on a hard, cold toilet seat. Other times, I used a shawl or simply sat in another room. Breastfeeding is a private matter for me, and I don't much like watching other people do it... but hey - I'm not going to get upset if I see someone in a restaurant doing it. I'd just rather not see their boob (and neither would my husband). My husband will get up and leave a room if even his cousin is breastfeeding.

Rina said...

I can understand that you have your reasons for feeling this way. I'm not wild about the fashion of dressing up in titillating bits of cloth to look attractive or young girls thinking that Barbie or some aneroxic movie star is the kind of ideal to aim for.

I just think that it is interesting how different cultures regard nakedness. I grew up in Africa, where breasts were regarded as about as sexual as one's elbows and there was therefore no taboo about them, also among very religious African Christians. I once saw a postcard titled "Sotho (a South African tribe) woman weaving a basket."
Besides the abovementioned activity, the woman on the postcard was also nursing a rather large toddler, who was holding onto her exposed breast.

BTW, it is not necessary to use a shawl or nurse in a public restroom to nurse discreetly. I have often nursed in public without any cover (in England or the USA) without people realising what I was doing. They just thought that I was cradling the baby/toddler in my arms.

I might be wrong, but I would say that American modesty was not founded on biblical thought per se but on a certain kind of Christianity - that of the Puritans.

I'm pretty modest myself. At a homeschooling camp in Germany last year ours was the only family that used bathing suits to swim in the little lake next to our campsite. I got some really weird looks and comments from some of the other campers there, but that is how I am. There was an elderly pastor and his wife there who also never used bathing suits, but that is how the Germans are. They don't see a nude body as something to get sexually turned on by because they see them all the time. My mother, who is a nursing sister in an old age home, has the same attitude to nude men. She says, "You've seen one, you've seen them all".

I really do think that the idea that parents should not be seen naked by their children mystifies the the human body and feeds this idea that we should dress up in titillating clothes, instead of regarding the human body as the natural thing it is. Our sons are not seeing our stretch-marked, lived-in bodies, and grow up with a mental ideal instead of the real thing. The kind of magazine covers which sell women's bodies as vehicles of sexuality did not come from those societies where the nude body is accepted as normal and healthy. They originated in Western civilisation and the sad thing is that these perverted portrayals of women are spreading to to non-Western societies.



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