State of Affairs: Music

I watched some of Unsung: Mint Condition on TVOne last night. Mint Condition REALLY REALLY represents how women want to and should be treated and how men SHOULD treat women. The kind of lyrics that their songs had just don’t exist in popular music these days.

I’m a firm believer that what you allow yourself to be exposed to affects the way you think- even if it’s only entertainment!You can see it in the behaviors of young folks these days. I was speaking to a group of young men last summer who happened to be assigned to an “alternative” school about why they made the decisions that they made to get into trouble; to my surprise, they volunteered that artists such as Chief Keef made it cool (in their minds) to be conscienceless criminals who had no problem carrying guns and shooting to kill. ESPECIALLY if it had to do with their money.

What they said was sad enough… but what was worse was that they recognized the problem with that and STILL subscribed to this horrible point of view and lifestyle.

Now, to be fair, my children listen to the radio and watch youtube videos like most other kids. I recognize that even if I banned this stuff in my presence, they will have endless opportunities to watch and listen when I am not around to police. I do address the lyrics in the songs, the images in the videos, and what they mean and don’t mean. I have daughters- I teach let them know that there is no one standard of beauty and not to judge themselves by what they see in media.

Nicki Minaj and the song “Anaconda” gives me the worst case of “what the hell am I supposed to do”. lol The song is raunchy as hell and the video is soft-ish porn. But I remember that I used to LOVE “Baby Got Back” (from which Anaconda’s sample was taken) when I was a little 9 year old.  Our parents HATED that kind of music and tried to shield us from it as much as possible; however I think they gave in eventually, standing on what they had taught us to stand against the negative influences.

HOWEVER, this

is FAR from this.

ASIDE: I remember when the song was popular because a singular instance; my family was moving my sister into her college dorm room. We were walking up the stairs with boxes of her stuff in our arms, everyone singing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s lyrics in unison. When the “me me me so horny” line came along, everyone stopped BUT ME. I was so embarrassed but only because I was the only one who was still singing. I had no idea what “horny” meant lol- but I was feeling the high energy of the song!!

I’m always questioning that I’m not saying or doing the right things to give them the tools to become happy and whole women. I try not to let my baggage affect how I manage them. The balance gives me nightmares… Not too permissive and not too strict. Be realistic to make them strong but optimistic to keep them confident.

I listen to old school music from the 50’s up to the 90’s with them and let them see affection between Matthew and me.  I want them to know -and SEE- how they should be treated as girls, young ladies, and eventually women; AND how they should carry themselves.

I teach them that while they are exposed to music and images that I wish they weren’t, they MUST think critically about what they emulate and make the choice to first and foremost be good people. Then to define themselves by how they feel is the most authentic versions of themselves… and this changes over time!

I may not be able to completely shield them from all the stupid sh*t out here- but I WILL shine a light on the fact that it is STUPID SH*T so they will know to avoid it.

I HOPE that the purveyors of popular music start peddling music worth listening to.  Otherwise, we will continue to avoid listening to the radio (and other entertainment media sources).

love y’all.

m.

Leave a Reply