This is the only time that I tune in to watch MTV. The VMAs (Video Music Awards) is one of the biggest shows a year. MTV rolls out some of the biggest names out there in the music industry to perform and announce awards. One reason why I tune in is that millions (literally) of teenagers will tune in to check out the VMAs. It is a perfect look into youth culture at its best. Like it or not, this is where our teenagers are being influenced at. These are the stars that are on our teen’s phones and ipods. Here is a quick review of what is being produced in the musical industry:
- Sex, sex, and more sex– The 2013 VMAs was as sexual as I have ever seen on any entertainment show before. From different sexual comments throughout the show from the host and other presenters to the performances. The one that had everyone talking was the performance by Miley Cyrus when she performed her hit song, “We can’t stop.” You can read my review of her song by clicking here. Miley has come a long way from her somewhat innocent Hannah Montana days. Miley’s performance was quoted this morning by Fox News, “Raunchy!” It was definitely that and so much more. Miley came out in a skimpy outfit, tongue out, dancing like she was in a strip club. She “twerked” around the stage. if you do not know what that word means, look it up. It simply means she was dancing sexually. She “booty danced” to the crowd. She even pulled out a foam finger and used it as a sexual object eventually touching the private parts of Robin Thicke as he danced with her. Miley is just plain nasty. Her performance had many of the ones present with their jaws dropped. Just google Will Smith and family’s response to Miley Cyrus. Honestly, I watched a little bit of it, and turned it off, because it was so perverted and disgusting. Miley would eventually strip of most of her clothes. Also, her new-found trademark with her tongue is pretty gross as well. The VMAs are pushing this kind of act though. Lady Gaga as well came out in a somewhat reserved performance compared to Miley, but it was still nasty and resulted in her stripping of her clothes.
- Homosexuality– I am a conservative, and not afraid to admit that. I believe in traditional marriage. I do not support gay marriage. I do recognize that the argument is here to stay, and the VMAs pushed that pretty heavily. No wonder we are seeing such a rise in homosexuality in our culture today. Just turn on the VMAs, and you will see why. Macklemore came out recently with a huge song entitled, “same love.” It is all about gay rights and homosexuality. The song smacks on “conservative right wings” and “religion” as the ones who need to get up to the times with the culture. The song smashes the beliefs of those intolerant of homosexuality. I posted this on facebook that I thought was interesting last night during the performance, “The #VMAs just allowed Macklemore to perform a song promoting homosexuality & tolerance from “conservative right wings” as the song says. Notice how intolerant they would become if a “conservative right-wing” wrote a song against homosexuality.” In all seriousness though, homosexuality is becoming more of the “modern family” approach to culture. We must teach our kids Biblically what the Bible says about homosexuality.
- Explicit Lyrics– The VMAs (although not surprised) had quite a bit of explicit lyrics. I had to mute the television every time the famous comedian and actor, Kevin Hart, came on. He was profane, but also sexual in his comments. Whatever the limit of a standard television show could say, they met their limit and quota of as many cuss words as possible. I just feel that cussing has made its way into our culture that we are kind of used to the profane nature of society. I hope that I never get over the cringe feeling that I get when I hear cussing.
So, as a parent, how do you handle this kind of music that is trying its best to influence your child? Here are a few helpful thoughts.
- As parents, be aware of the culture’s music– Look, I am not saying study it as much as a youth pastor, but be cautious of what is out there for your teenager. Music is dangerous, very dangerous. It affects the individual in more ways than they even understand. My parents thought that I only listened to contemporary music growing up, but they had no idea that even the worst music out there was as bad as what they found in my room growing up.
- Use music as a discussion starter with your student– Be open about music. Try not to flip out about the music that your student is listening to, but instead teach and discuss proper music. Have boundaries and guidelines, but use music as a discussion board into the life of your teenager. They need to learn discernment in how to appropriately navigate through music to find what is appropriate for them.
- Teach Biblical principles– Teach the Bible to your kids. Try to have family devotions and Gospel centered conversations regular about your faith. Teens are 5 times more likely to stay in church after they graduate if regular faith conversations are happening at home.
- Provide them with good music– We often tell students what not to listen to, but seldom give them good music that they can enjoy. There is a lot of good music out there that students can enjoy that will not corrupt their mind.
I am not a MTV fan at all. This is the first time that I have watched it all year, and it will be the last. I cringed throughout the show, but it does give us a glimpse into today’s youth culture. Teenagers make up their fan base in many cases. For parents, I would strongly urge you to avoid MTV all together for your teenagers sake.