Have you heard about the latest controversy on Sesame Street? Yes, I said "controversy" and "Sesame Street" in the same sentence. Apparently parents all over are offended by this video. Go ahead and watch it, I'll wait. And if you catch yourself singing, I promise not to tell anyone.
Done? Good! Did you like it? Find yourself singing along? Did you figure out what people are making such a big deal about? No? Go watch it again. I'll wait.
Get it yet? Well, I can tell you that I had to watch the video about 3 times before I could find anything objectionable, and even then I got it wrong. I thought, "hmm...is it because of Katy Perry's past songs?" After all, the lyrics to one is "I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry Chapstick." Or could it be the lyrics of the song that this parody is based on "You PMS like a bitch, I should know." As much as I love Katy Perry (and I do), I don't listen to her songs with the kids. I think the lyrics are inappropriate. I wanted to know if I was right so I decided to dig a little deeper. I looked at various new articles, blogs and comments on the video. (It's not hard, just Google Katy Perry & Elmo if you want to see what people are saying.)
The problem? Katy's cleavage. So, I watched it again. I suppose there is one point where her girls are a little jiggly. I decided to perform an unofficial study. I had Adelae watch it to see if she would notice. She watched it, then watched it again. Her and Brinna danced and Adelae even sang "Elmo's up, Elmo's down, Elmo's running around." Not once did she say "Mommy, her boobs are jiggly. I need to wear a low cut shirt so I can be like the girl in the song." In fact, I think the shirt I had on at the time showed more cleavage that the outfit that Katy had on.
So, this leads me to the question, would most preschoolers notice? The answer, I highly doubt it. We need to keep in mind the audience for shows like Sesame Street. It's not me or my husband. It's preschoolers, children aged from birth to 5 or 6. Has our society become so overly sexualized that even preshcoolers know that breasts can be sexual? Seriously? If that's the case, then I think the parents that are complaining really need to take a good hard look at the lessons they are teaching their children.
We are very open about our bodies in our house. I breastfed Brinna for a year. Adelae sees my breasts a lot. In fact, she takes a shower with me. It's just easier. I see nothing wrong with it. God gave us these bodies. They are beautiful. Plus, she's THREE! THREE! Right in the middle of the target audience for Sesame Street. Even at 6 I don't think that she's going to look at that video and say "Wow Mommy! Look at her boobies! They make me want to wear low cut shirts!" If she does? Well, that's the day that I think it's time to turn off the TV and spend some quality time with my child.