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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Down Home: Whatever happened to Ken, Barbie and television

  • I'm disappointed in Barbie. The model we all strived to be like as young girls has dyed her hair pink and got a couple of tattoos.
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  • I'm disappointed in Barbie. The model we all strived to be like as young girls has dyed her hair pink and got a couple of tattoos.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say having pink hair or tattoos is a bad thing. It's not my cup of tea, but is it really how we want our impressionable little girls to be pretending to be before they even have the chance to make up their own minds?
    Some have argued that Barbie was too perfect and her proportions are, in reality, not achievable. If Barbie wanted to be more like the rest of us she could have just moved up to a size 14.
    I'll be the first to admit I depended on TV as a babysitter when the girls were young. They were both "latch key" kids who spent afternoons by themselves until I got home from work. We didn't have cable so the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon weren't an option. We had the basic channels to choose from, but luckily most of the shows were kid friendly.
    If I were a young parent now, I'd be horrified what they might be watching, whether it's in the middle of the day or prime time. The half-hour comedy sitcoms could easily be rated R, fringing on X, while reality shows provide real life drama, hiding nothing from the stark naked truth.
    What's happening here? Are we really choosing The Simpsons over Sesame Street as a guide for morals and values?
    Even commercials have taken the turn to showing more than young eyes need to see. Little boys don't have to sneak a peek to see a woman in a bra and underwear, but it's commonplace, whether on a show or in commercials. Even fast food chains try to entice you to buy a hamburger by showing a half dressed young woman chomping into a sandwich with mustard dripping down her chest. Is that really necessary?
    Dick Van Dyke must feel slighted, with his sitcom only providing twin beds for him and his wife. A little peck on the cheek before he left for work is a far cry from the bedroom scenes that are brought into our living rooms now on a regular basis.
    And we wonder why grade school children are experimenting with sex.
    What happened to family shows like "7th Heaven," "The Bill Cosby Show" and "Family Ties"?
    Funky, far-out and groovy are words that define the 1970s, which to some are considered to be the craziest years so far.
    I wonder what this second decade of 2000 will be remembered by? Maybe Ken will give up the surfboard for a gun and Ronald McDonald will trade in his clown outfit for a pair of Speedos
    Page 2 of 2 - Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area and writes this column for GateHouse Media.

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