Well I missed the boat. The huge Italian-piloted-playboy-of a captain’s-type of boat that is. Because well I’m just not the glitzy “12 lido decks” sailing type.
I’m also endeavoring to figure out why young female children are hanging their entire tiny self esteems on the millions of mostly hardened YouTube Viewer’s opinions! Patt Morrison of KPCC devoted one of her radio shows to this question the other day. I was lucky enough to have one of my comments read on the air by Patt, (I can’t tell you how exciting this was…) but my thoughts on this subject have not been entirely aired and I wish to explore this phenomena more fully here! You lucky readers! Okay you four readers of mine, (you know who you are…) Personally I don’t remember being wary of my self esteem as a child never mind manically questioning whether I was “pretty” or not. Not much of a thought to tell you the truth. Not until my next door neighbor, the evil Yvette Lopez, told me that I got to borrow the ‘ugly Barbie’ because as she put it, ‘I was ‘ugly too.’ I remember being angry, and not really believing her. I guess my parents had done some work there and made sure my intrinsic self esteem was intact and somewhat unretractable in a way. Some sort of positive verbal massaging of the spirit went on. I do know that I did not own Barbies, either by the sheer prospect of borderline poverty or by ideal I know not. I do know, however, I was the eager recipient of an occasional chicharone or pan dulce whilst watching 1970’s basketball with my dad. My mother had me busy with art projects. As for Yvette? I wanted to punch her lights out and began making mud pies to launch over the wall into her front yard. Being resourceful, I enlisted my little brother and the offensive began. Looking back, that was my first taste of justice and haven’t’ lost the thirst for it. Today I’m wondering why America has been resting on it’s laurels with regard to women’s issues. Not only are we on the razor’s edge of losing contraception rights, we are okay with so much misogyny in our media once again. I wasn’t around for the 50’s and I was just a wee tot in the 60’s and all I know is that in the 70’s women’s issues were important. I felt it. I saw it. Women were in a fight. Gloria Steinem was a common visual on my parent’s magnavox. Cher might’ve been in a tiny deerskin bikini but she was a strong woman. Women with caftans, flared pants large flowered prints were pissed and on guard. They wanted to be respected for the women they were. In the eighties the idea of ‘being an airhead’ or one’s entire self-esteem being soley based on looks still didn’t fly. There was an enduring radar out there just daring any inkling of disrespect to waft within it’s general airspace. How did things change so quickly? Now we have The Kardashians, The Bachelor, Jersey Shore’s women put out there as defacto role models for young girls. Women in bikinis selling hamburgers. Maybe the ladies on Hee Haw or Petty Coat Junction we’rent perfect but they certainly weren’t bouncing booze soaked ice cubes off the pecs of half naked guido boys! There was enough strong feminist vibe going on that even girls as young as I was knew that we weren’t to be messed with or disrespected and most of all? I had more than my looks to make me feel whole.
Thankfully there is a group called G.A.T.E. (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment) spearheaded by John Raatz, Jim Carrey and Eckhart Tolle…and they endeavor to change some of the tendencies in Hollywood that culminate in movies and shows that lower that self-esteem bar. Basically GATE is trying to raise the bar making Hollywood responsible for what is conveyed in their productions. Can we tell a good story that people want to see without all the gratuitous sex or stereotypical demography that we now use so wantonly? Can we make an impact without the gratuitous violence? Can we merely allude to the violence in the story if it is a necessary part of the storytelling? but not glorify it’s detail? Can we get past using sex and violence as cash cows? and raise our cinema arts to a new level? Can we tell better stories? and can we tell stories that are more impactful and help us all get along on this tiny blue idiosyncratic planet? I think so. And if we do…succeed that is, in making Hollywood just a little less attention starved, we will we have an impact on young children. We must do this because young kids are starting to show signs of the hyper sexualization and adult drama that they encounter everywhere in out society. A ten year old asking the world if she’s pretty, an eleven year old worried that she’s ‘not hot’. it’s worrisome. Endeavor with me. Eyes on the prize.