Disney Channel never ceases to disappoint me. Besides the fact that this channel is targeted at pre-teens who shouldn't be watching shows about teenagers and relationships, the majority of the girls who are associated with the channel end up having an "I'm a woman, not a girl" problem. They feel that, since they've been on this "kids" channel, they have to prove to the world that, though they may play almost-innocent characters, they are capable of being just as alluring as any actress.
The most recent Disney star to begin this process is Selena Gomez, a young lady (19 years old) who is the main character in a show called "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and starred in a movie, Monte Carlo, last year and Romona and Beezus the year before, used to be upheld as a great role-model for young girls. Her clothing choices were modest, her songs pretty harmless, her message a the typical Disney theme: "be yourself". She said in an interview that she wanted to remain this way; she wanted the parents of young girls to know that anything she sang or starred in would be safe for their girls to listen to or see. Apparently she is accustomed to wearing a purity ring (I have no idea whether she still is), and seemed to be a sweet girl. She started off with great intentions and an admirable mission. But lately it's become quite clear that this innocent image is being pushed aside for a more risque look. This was called to my attention when I noticed her picture on the cover of March's Cosmopolitan magazine. I could not believe what I saw. Her top was very immodest, and her face was surrounded by the inappropriate articles featured within the magazine- things that should only be found in adult video stores and not on regular store shelves. And then I saw a picture of her at the Grammys, again sporting a very low-cut neckline. I also (unfortunately) saw part of her movie, Monte Carlo; a movie that can be summed up in four words: attitude, immodesty, romance, and egotistical. This year the young lady gone bad is also coming out with a new perfume, which features a picture of her dripping wet in a seductive black dress.
Now, I know you all do not read my blog for Hollywood gossip, and I apologize if this post has been going in that direction. But, I feel this is something that America cannot continue to ignore. Purity and chastity are completely disappearing from this nation. Young women are pushed to look and act like grown women much too early, and the teen clothing stores do not help, offering spandex pants and miniature skirts for kids just trying to find something that fits them. Pre-teen stores like Justice promote an early obsession with Disney Channel by selling glittery shirts covered with Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber pictures alongside feminine undergarments that most fourth graders shouldn't be wearing. And Barbie dolls, though never entirely innocent, now have tattoos, wear fish-net stockings, and mini-shorts.
This country needs a renewed love of purity to spring up within its youth. But, it's not just going to happen by itself, it has to start at home. Encourage your daughters or young female friends to read books like Little Women or Anne of Green Gables, watch movies like Annie, The Sound of Music, or the new Veggie Tales movies made specifically for young girls, such as Sweet Pea Beauty (about how true beauty comes from virtue) and The Princess and the Pop-Star (about blooming where God planted you). Teach them to look up to the great women of the Bible, like Esther (the Veggie Tales movie about her has always been one of my favorites), Susanna, Ruth, the woman described in Psalm 31, Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene, and our Blessed Mother. When they grow a little older, buy them a purity ring and teach them about the great promise it symbolizes. Go shopping with them, and help them find modest outfits that showcase their beauty in a way that honors God. As my Mom always says, "A girl should dress in a way that directs one's attention towards her eyes." Shield them from channels like Disney and magazines like Teen Vogue or Seventeen, which are just a step away from the trash described in adult magazines.
And, above all, pray. Pray for girls like Selena, who started out with such good intentions and were led astray. Pray that they will re-embrace their old innocence and learn to look to God to find their beauty, and not to the world. And pray for all the young ladies who are continually led astray by their role-models' bad choices.
May God forgive our nation.
Picture from http://disneychannel.wikia.com/wiki/Selena_Gomez.