9.24.2010

The Katy Perry Effect


If you have been on the Internet or turned on a TV in the past few days, you have heard about Katy Perry and Elmo's play date on Sesame Street.  And you have heard about the controversy regarding her ample bosom.

It's cute.  It's cheeky. 
It's over the top.
It's exactly what you would expect from Katy.

My love of both Katy Perry and Sesame Street is known, I've blogged about them both before. I've liked her ever since she "kissed a girl" and Goose watches Elmo every morning.  So, my stance on this may be surprising to you.  I think it is  completely inappropriate.
And here is why...

I'm a pretty laid back mom.  I let Goose watch The Simpsons.  We sing Lady Gaga together in the car.  I watch trashy TV around her.  I *try* my hardest not to swear.  I wear reveling clothing from time to time. Goose has seen me in my underwear (and, gasp, nekkid).  She is not a sheltered child by any means.

If this were on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel, I don't think I would have even batted an eyelash. 
But it wasn't.
It was on PBS.
It was on Sesame Street.

As a parent, I feel its my right to pick and choose what my daughter is exposed to and when.  When I turn on certain channels, I know what to expect.  I know the tone of the show and the behavior and language she will see.  And when I turn on PBS, I expect a certain level of programming.
I admit, I hold them to a higher standard.

Sesame Street has been on the air for over 40 years and boasts an impressive list of celebrity guest stars over the years.  They have featured musicians, actors, athletes and political figures alike.  Some of them  have controversial personal lives, but their segments for the show have always been appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers who are unaware of the media persona of each person.  In all actuality, many kids probably don't even know who the adult guest stars are. 

Here Sesame Street made a conscious decision to cover Perry's chest.  With a sheer flesh colored panel.  My husband thinks I am over reacting.  He says, and I don't disagree, that its not any worse than a figure skating costume.  That our daughter would look at her and think that she is nothing more than a pretty girl in a pretty yellow dress.  This is all true.  But there isn't any reason they couldn't have chosen a more conservative outfit. 

There is a time and a place for everything and the place for cleavage bearing tops is NOT Sesame Street.

I hope that Sesame Street invites Perry back to film another segment.  She is charming and funny and her chemistry with Elmo is adorable.  A higher neckline would in no way diminish her sexy appeal.  It's who she is, you can't hide it.  Especially given the subject matter of the piece and Perry's penchant for creative attire. 

In the future, I hope that PBS and Sesame Street is more aware of the decisions they are making.  I hope they know what parents have come to expect from them.  Because I know, to me, I turn to PBS knowing the programming will be entertaining, educational and age appropriate.




1 comment:

Julia said...

you said it perfectly!! you did! and you and i are probably on the opposite ends of what we allow are kids to see/hear... and that's ok... and we still agree on this. like you said, it's sesame street. you do expect a certain standard from them. I was surprised they let it go, but i hope they invite her back. she's cute and funny and i think it would be great. just think, if they would've had her wear normal clothes to begin with, this wouldn't be an issue.

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