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Soapbox Saturday: Sesame Street Made a Boob of Themselves

Saturday, October 2, 2010

If you are a parent, you've heard the brouhaha over Katy Perry's guest appearance on Sesame Street. It started when this video was previewed on YouTube:

Irate mothers (I assume they were mothers because what hot-blooded male would object to Katy Perry?) contacted PBS and complained that Miss Perry's outfit was too revealing. They did not want their children to see that much cleavage (the violence in their video games is OK, but that is a different post). Sesame Street succumbed to the pressure and pulled the plug on the episode.

Before I state my opinion on this unfortunate event, I want to make it known that I personally do not like Katy Perry's style of bubblegum pop. The fact that I am not a fan of her music uniquely qualifies me to to enter the fray because I do not take what happened to her as a personal attack. I am also not getting up on my soapbox to defend her honor. I am defending something else called common sense.

I watched the video before the storm broke. I did not think Katy's outfit was racy. I did not find her cleavage offending. We all know Katy Perry's cups overfloweth and maybe that's the root of this whole controversy. Raise your hand if you know at least 5 moms who complain about their sagging boobs? Don't most, if not all women, wish we had full, bouncy breasts like Katy Perry's?

So there you have it...Mom with droopy breasts + Katy Perry's perky bosom in her face=misplaced righteous indignation
. That's right! I'm calling out the little green monster, and I am not talking about Oscar.

Sesame Street's decision not to air the episode troubles me for another reason. I am worried about what it teaches little girls about body image. Does this not reinforce the misogynistic attitude that the female body is something to be ashamed of?

Besides, there are more important battles to be fought concerning boobs like breast cancer...um, hello!

So, let me know what you think about this firestorm...

Kat Perry went on to spoof the whole controversy on Saturday Night Live wearing a tight Elmo tee cut down the middle of the neckline. She and her sweater puppies are doing just fine.


Help! Mama Remote... said...

I saw a piece of the episode on GMA. I personally didn't see it to be offending. Although her dress was low cut it wasn't like seeing Aretha's cleavage. I'd love to know how many moms called in. Not to mention there's enough bull on TV that showed be fought against! I'd like to be a fly on the wall in their house to see which other shows they allow their children to watch.

septembermom said...

You're right on. I think her breasts were fine. Geez, just think of all the little ones nursing and seeing moms' breasts in bathing suits, tank tops. It's not like she was wearing a stripper's costume!

Betty Manousos said...

Nice post!But I like that song!
Thanks for sharing, it.

Love and hugs to all of you!

B xx

Betty Manousos said...

Nice post!But I like that song!
Thanks for sharing, it.

Love and hugs to all of you!

B xx

Betty Manousos said...

Of course I relate to your opinion!
Totally and utterly!

B xx

jmt said...

Your post really makes me wonder if a person can be on both sides of the fence.

Side one: As a breastfeeding mommy, I've got a wonderful sense of "normalcy" and "meaning" to what boobs are, for, and should be. The ARE tools for sustenance, they ARE for babies - not just men, and they SHOULD BE viewed as natural and beautiful curves (or speed bumps, hee hee) to a woman's body. This side agrees with you that her appearance needs to be viewed without regard for the sexuality that the world has deemed boobs to stand for. Boobs hanging out on anyone, anywhere, need to be viewed as natural body parts and not sexuality.

Side two: As I get *gasp* older, the modesty, or lack thereof, in younger children today worries me. Because it would take a monstrous societal effort to re-create thinking about cleavage, breasts, and women....I wonder, should we be more conscious about developing modesty in the girls that WILL BE our future women? A respect for my body and with what regard sexuality and sensuality dictates how I choose to dress. A dress like Perry's brings attention to her chest and kids today have boobs and butt and muscles etc. shoved in their faces with the FULL intention of sex being served up. I have no jealousy toward her body, but I do worry about the perpetuation of sex and sexuality in our young starlets while we continue to pretend to "fight the fair fight" in business, home life, and responsibility. This is just a fight I've been having with myself for awhile now. :)

(I might copy and past these thoughts for a blog post. FYI.)

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Katy Perry. That being said, I don't see what all the hoopla is about. I thought the clip was cute and my 2 boys, ages 1 and 3, loved it and wanted me to keep playing it over and over. I don't think they loved it because she had what looks like a figure skating outfit on that showed she has breasts. She is completely covered since the top of that is skin tone mesh, just like the figure skaters wear. I wonder how many parents were covering their children's eye during the Olympics.

I think people would of found something wrong with her being on sesame street regardless because of her reputation regarding clothing.

Maureensk said...

Being an old fart, I have no idea who she is, so I had no prejudice going into it. I actually don't like Sesame Street anyway, it just annoys me too much, so we don't watch it. Barney I can take, but Sesame Street I cannot, go figure... Anyway, she just looks kind of silly to me. I don't think her dress is appropriate for the sketch, but it is inappropriate like a tux would be on a guy, just the wrong sort of attire. It could cover her bosom more, but it's not a big deal IMHO. Jealous I am not, as when I am breastfeeding, I get humongous and my "sweater puppies" don't droop until I wean. If anything, I feel for her having to be that big her entire life, not just while she is breastfeeding. The fact is jumping, running, and so forth are not much fun when one is sized anything larger than a D. I'd love to be able to go braless once and awhile like I could before I had kids....

K. Rock said...

I will agree that not it is not the biggest deal in the world but I will have to disagree with your opinion that the moms who protested were just jealous. I think that ideal takes our roles as mothers to protect our children from what we deem inappropriate, and downplays it to something as trivial as looking at the tv and pouting "I want bigger boobies like hers. So she's gotta go."
I don't really think that's fair to those mothers.

But that's the joy of blogging. You agree..you disagree..and life goes on. Love your blog!

Unknown said...

Lots of great comments and food for thought! I wanted to post some follow-up points:

@ TOOJE: I wholeheartedly agree with your first point and see where you're coming from on the second. I guess I'd have to say that Katy Perry works in an industry where sex sells and she knows it and she chooses to participate (and enthusiastically does so judging from her music videos). But it's her prerogative. That's not how I choose to represent myself in business or life and that's not what I would want my daughter thinking she has to do to to succeed or get ahead. It will be a challenge because girls are constantly bombarded with ads, videos, magazines, etc...hypersexualizing girls/women (not to mention depicting us as dumb, bitchy, catty). I don't fault these women for their choices nor do I think it undermines women's liberation or sets back the feminist movement. Was not the goal of these crusades to give women the right to choose their own destinies? who am I to dismiss a sister because she chooses sexual object as a career?

@Lona: you make an excellent point about her reputation preceding her appearance on the show. It would have been interesting to see if the video would have elicited the same complaints had she been wearing a loose blouse or cardigan. The bad role model angle adds a new layer...the plot thickens!

@ K. Rock: I see your point, but I still think many women can't stand the sight of her. Opposing views are always welcome at Marlie and Me! :-)

The Redhead Riter said...

My philosophy is this:

I'm not showing you my boobs, but if you decide to give men all the free looks, well, that is your business. I just won't bring my hubby around you when you are flaunting your mama jamas.

My girls are the only girls I want him to see. LOL

Megella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megella said...

Great post, thought-provoking comments (from almost a month ago, but better late than never!) Sorry for the previous delete. Suck at proof-reading!

Personally: I like Katy Perry. Her videos seem to self-spoof a little, and I love anybody with a ironic sense of humor.

I find NOTHING wrong with the outfit or the boobies, and as far as role models go...are the Sesame Street set really going to be watching entertainment news later on to find out what Ms. Perry was up to lately? They'd better not be, if their parents are so concerned with what they watch to protest this segment in the first place!

My question is: did Sesame Street REALLY think they were going to get away with airing this in the first place? How could they not anticipate the outcry from the uber-modest mommy crowd? OR did they create the video knowing full well it could very well never air on PBS, but anticipating that it would draw controversy, and therefore, press for them?

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