My six year old son likes music. He likes to dance. He likes bad pop stuff, like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. He loves that LMAFO song, “sexy and I know it.” It is played every hour on the local bad pop station that we put on maybe once a week for an hour to hear all of our favorite bad pop. I have to admit that I love that Maroon 5 song “moves like Jagger.” It is the song in my head when I am running. If the song in my head changes and I find myself going off my pace, I just sing Maroon 5 and I am on it. Who needs to actually listen to music anyway? We both also like that Adele song, “someone like you.” We don’t really know the words but we were singing it together waiting for the bus this week.
So when I saw the commercials for the American Music Awards (on right now!) I figured as a treat I would let him stay up late and watch a bit of it. The Biebs was singing and LMAFO and Maroon 5. Of course I let him stay up as late as I felt was OK for a school night and the only one we got to see was Biebs singing this insipid Xmas tune dressed eerily like some resurrected Michael Jackson. Yuck! I had warned my son before turning it on that I might find something inappropriate for him to watch and have to change it. And it was really going OK for the most part until Jennifer Lopez came out shedding more and more clothing as she sang (although more appalling was the Fiat’s product placement in the middle of her song. Maybe she should have just written fiat all over her almost naked body.) Then she backed her famous booty up against Pitbull for a bit of dirty dancing. My son took notice. Then it was Pitbull singing with Marc Anthony with a bevy of girls with glittery gold bras and very, very short short thingys on. It was the last number my son was to see tonight mostly because it was late, a school night and past his bed time.
He was fading fast as we took a quick trip to the bathroom. I asked him, why was it that all of the girls were not wearing a lot of clothes and that all of the boys had all of their clothes on. He said, well maybe the girls want to be sexy. And I said, why do the girls have to have no clothes to be sexy? I think that they could keep their clothes on and still be sexy. He pulled up his pants and ran to bed. He was snoring in about five minutes. Of course I question the intelligence of allowing him to watch the show but unfortunately, the AMAs are par for the course these days. And I would rather be ahead of those images and have some control over them. I hope that we continue to have conversations about them and their ramifications in our home. I am relatively certain he couldn’t put words to a definition of “sexy” but I also think that that word has weight and he knows it and it has foggy beginnings for him. I of course, want to be the one responsible for providing some clarity on this issue; to make it less foggy; when the time is right and he is ready.