Skin This!

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Anyone who knows me well will see right away that this is pretty much an out of character post topic for me. However, this should perhaps be proof as to just how serious this is. As the parent who watches all the CSI programs, Glee, Modern Family etc with her teen, you know that I don’t censor very much in this house. Normally the idea of blocking a channel or of (horrors!) signing a petition from the Parents Television Council would be so foreign to me. And yet….let me start you off with a few links to do just those things!

How to block channels with: Directv, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable & Cox Cable

Parents Television Council Petition – this petition is not ecifically about MTV or the Skins show, but it is about cable channel CHOICE which I have always supported. Especially since MTV seems to have gone the way of Playboy – I would really rather not have my cable fees go to pay them. I have the choice to pay Playboy or HBO and I’d like the same choice with MTV since they have decided to go down this path.

What path is this you may ask?

Well, it started with the TV shows “Teen Mom” (1 AND 2) and regressed to an even worse show called “16 and Pregnant”. Because hey – nothing says entertainment for your kids like glorifying teen pregnancy right?! Compare that to the shows I watch with my son. Let’s choose the one perhaps closest to the MTV shows – Glee. Now, if anyone has watched Glee you know that the show is so over the top as to be about as FAR from reality as you can imagine. After all, in the same episode when Kurt’s character comes out as gay, he also orchestrates a football play where the entire football team dances and sings to All The Single Ladies in order to distract the opposing team. Yeah, it worked of course, as did Kurt’s reprisals of the song as he approached the ball to kick the game winning extra point. CLEARLY a fantasy right? CLEARLY nothing close to what real life is like in high school! Plus, they are all actors in their 20s depicting these kids. And the character who was pregnant? She loses her spot on the cheer squad as well as many of her friends and is kicked out of her house. Perhaps not the most caring way to handle that scenario, but also far from glorifying it.

But the MTV shows are “Reality TV”. Now, have I watched them? Heck no! I have no interested in seeing that! Technically, I lived it, so no, I don’t need to see it. Also? Why is that entertaining?

Now, I am damn lucky that my boy has no interest in this channel up to this point. I’ve seen him channel surf and thankfully MTV is not amongst his selections. And you know what? It wont be. I blocked it. The final straw is the new shows Skins.

Quite frankly I only had a vague notion about this show before. But then my friend Stefanie wrote this post over on the SDMomfia site.  Go read it please. I’ll wait……

Eye opening eh?

Did you click on her link to the TV show’s website? Because I agree with her that we should NOT “check it out” and give them ratings. But you should check out that website.

Let me share with you which part of it disgusted ME the most – it’s called the Where It Went Down section:

Description of the purpose of the section

Overview map of where it went down

See those little symbols? Imagine the most R-rated translation of those symbols as you can (aimed at teens remember!). It’s worse. If you can’t handle explicit language, I’m sorry, but I felt like this needed to be exposed for what’s happening here. And remember – this is a TV show starring underage kids, aimed AT underage kids. So you can imagine the ages of the people reporting in on this section.

After the main map loads on the front page of the site, it starts scrolling through these postings. I did not have to click any link to see these

Also, as they scroll, you can click for details. No sign up necessary. No controls on content for age.

Sure, those top level entries seem innocuous. Disturbing, but not horrifying right? So, as I said, anyone visiting the site can go ahead and click for details on any of these listings. So I clicked on one titled “Invisible Condoms” This is where it gets graphic:

No sign in required to see this. No proof of age. Just one click away on a website for a TV show aimed at OUR TEENS on a channel geared for OUR TEENS

Pretty shocking eh?

Now some may say that raising a stink only makes it more desirable for our kids. I know. But this tv show and this website cannot just be wished away. Where is the line when parents say “No More!”

Well, this is my line. MTV is blocked. Which makes me so sad. I grew up on this channel. Back when they were, you know, MUSIC television. I pulled all nighters watching videos just for fun. Have they always pushed the envelope? Sure, but before it was under the guise of bringing music and new artists to people’s attention. This has nothing to do with art. Or music. Or entertainment!

This is about showing kids that you can gain fame by being bad. That it’s cool and hip and fun – damn the consequences! And not just with a fictional show starring teens about teens. But with interactive programs like Where it Went Down that ENCOURAGES them to misbehave and then REPORT it!

Line crossed. Line drawn. No more “I want my MTV”. Now it’s “Skin THIS and BLOCK my MTV!”

7 thoughts on “Skin This!

  1. I’ve always blocked MTV. It just has to be blocked. Forget the reality shows, I feel like the music videos are getting raunchier with each passing year.
    Parental control is the way to go!

  2. Stormy

    Ahh, parents. You guys are just too adorable. Rather than having frank and honest discussions of teen behavior, let’s just stick our heads in the sand and pretend it *never* happens…even though the map you linked above is proof that it does. I’ll just stick my fingers in my ears and sing la-la-la and before I know it my 14-year-old son will be 25, married, and out of my hair! He’ll never, ever do anything I wouldn’t want him to do. After all, I raised him right!

    But…back on topic: have you seen the show? In your @reply to me yesterday you specifically mentioned wanting the kids in the show to keep their clothes on. I watched an episode online last night just to see what all the hoopla was about, and frankly, given the buildup, I was underwhelmed. I expected (hoped for?) wall-to-wall naked people and softcore TV porn, and instead I saw a pretty boring and simplistic show featuring *one* 18-year-old actor in his underwear and a girl showing some cleavage. Snore.

    Don’t get upset because the show’s trying to deal with issues parents refuse to deal with. Get upset because the show sucks.

    • oh boy kiddo – you know me, right? Do you think I have my head in the sand? Seriously?!! You KNOW what I do watch (and listen to) with my kid. You KNOW that I do, indeed have very frank and honest discussion with my boys. As I said – there is a line. This crossed it. You are very unfairly jumping to all sorts of over broad conclusions about how I parent here! C’mon now!

      Here’s the thing – there are lots of ways TV/movies/websites can be used as leaping off points for very good talks with kids. This one just is not it.

      Nudity is supposed to happen in Episode 3 – so set your DVR and have FUN!

      • Stormy

        Anyone who knows me well will see right away that this is pretty much an out of character post topic for me. However, this should perhaps be proof as to just how serious this is.

        Honestly that’s why I’m actually tuning in and paying attention to what you’re saying. I’m sitting here thinking “One of the smartest, most level-headed people I know, an awesome mom who I *know* is leagues and leagues ahead of the vast majority of crappy parents I deal with every day, is all in a snit about this. What’s up?” I have a tendency to just kind of tune out all the “I’m tired of all this sex on the television!” talk, but because it’s coming from you and because I know you and have known you since Sports Boy was eight, I’m listening.

        …and having watched the show last night, I’m honestly not understanding why people are so upset. I *know* you’re not playing Pollyanna and deluding yourself into believing that Sports Boy is all pious and wonderful and will escape high school totally unscathed. I know you’re not deluding yourself into thinking high school is anything but the cesspool of sex, drugs and alcohol that it is. I *know* that you’ve done everything you possibly can to prepare Sports Boy for these things and coaxed him to make good decisions at every possible turn (so please understand that I am *NOT* questioning your parenting at all…jeez…you, of all people? You’ve got more Mom Skills in your little finger than most moms do in their whole body). I’m confused as to why you would think TV would reflect some kind of reality that you know doesn’t exist.

        Then again, you made the right decision: if you don’t like a TV show, turn the TV off. :)

  3. Oops – no more reply button – Thanks Stormy – I think it’s more that in many cases these actors/actresses are underage – there is more questionable stuff coming up – heck even MTV producers are preemptively trying to spin things. It’s just…well..it’s the idea that – hey, if you behave like this, you get on TV! And not in a BAD way, but a GOOD one! You know – a Be Like US vibe. Probably should have been up in arms over the Teen Pregnancy glorification shows, but since I have a boy those did sort of fly past my radar.

    Also – I participated in this in support of another mom group who I trust and know, not out of specific concern for my kid. My own child? He never even tunes in to MTV. I’m just making sure he doesn’t for awhile.

  4. FARfetched

    Yay that I don’t have cable or satellite! ‘Course, I live in my own (God I wish it wasn’t) reality show. I used to enjoy MTV, back when they actually showed, you know, music videos. One of my fondest memories of being in a shopping maul [sic] was passing some electronics joint and seeing this 80 yo man rooted — I say, ROOTED — to the floor, staring gape-jawed at the babe-o-liciousness gyrating on MTV.

    I certainly won’t criticize you for blocking MTV — heck, why not cut the cable altogether and save the money for a killer vacation or a car for SB? — but there’s too many pr0n sites on the net to block if SB wants to see a little (or a lot of) skin. Yeah, glorifying teen pregnancy is just plain stupid… I’m helping raise the results of one of those, after all. Why can’t the “moral values” pontificators get all up their own asses about this kind of junk?

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