Thursday, April 17, 2008

Proud to be a Prude: Gossip Girl's Racy Ads

Teenage girls are natural drama queens. It is encoded in their DNA. When I was fifteen, I ached to experience real, gritty drama: I wanted my high school crush to suddenly notice I existed (which would create some serious drama since he was dating a friend of mine); because messiness and intense emotion means you’re more adult. All of my friends and I wanted to live out a “Dawson’s Creek,” “Felicity”-ized version of adolescence.

But thankfully, I’m not Katie Holmes and my high school life, minus a couple of my friends’ suicide attempts, the death of my young cousin, was decidedly normal.

My 26-year-old self was a little taken aback when I got the latest issue of “Entertainment Weekly,” and found the newest photo promo for The CWs, “Gossip Girl.” It shows Blake Lively, blonde hair swept across her face, head thrown back and eyes closed in ecstasy, as a guy kisses her neck. With the cybertastic OMG splashed across them in white font (OMFG is used on the internet). The picture is grainy and a bit off center, which adds a voyeuristic, “One Night in Paris” feel to it. This ad sailed past Suggestive and right into Obvious Orgasm territory. The TV spots are even worse.

Admittedly, I’ve never actually watched an episode of “GG”—yet another show about rich, white high school kids—because it looks like “The Hills” with a script. But I think these ads have demolished the line between risqué art and softcore porn. We have to keep in mind that sex has saturated the market; and 1 in 4 teenage girls have or have had an STD (and that rate jumps when dealing with minorities). Therefore, “GG’s” campaign is irresponsibly romanticizing sexual encounters.

Does that make me a prude? Maybe. Do I care? Fuck no. Pun completely intended.

Sex isn’t a bad thing by any means. And I’m not a Dubbya wasting taxpayers’ money by preaching abstinence, but in an era, where celebrity babies are the new black, STDs are at a national high, and record numbers of kids are having sex before the age of 13, network television shows should use a bit more restraint, at least with its advertisements, which I’ve already seen on “E! News,” my Yahoo! Email page, four times tonight’s return of “Supernatural” and in my favorite magazine.

I understand that teenage girls want to live the dramatic, sexy life of Carrie Bradshaw, but I also understand that that need is driven more by an urge to feel like the adults they are becoming and not the children they are.

Source for STD Stats:

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