Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Culture Watch: "Gossip Girl"

I'm aware of the Miley Cyrus photo controversy, but I was more taken aback by a billboard and television ad campaign for a show called "Gossip Girl."  The campaign utilizes the well-known (and obscene) "OMFG" with a photo of two young people in a pretty unmistakable sexual pose.  Just how young are they?  It was not until tonight that I learned that the show is about high schoolers, and the marketing is aimed at high schoolers.  I'm not all that old (though my students will say that the content of this post is evidence that I indeed am old), but I'd like to note how quickly social norms have changed, even since I was in college and Beverly Hills 90210 debuted as the teen show of choice.  Yes, the characters on 90210 had sex.  But the marketing images are dramatically different, and I'm pretty sure that images matter.  (You can see the images below the fold.)  What norms do these images establish for teenagers today?

UPDATE: Denise Hunnell answers my question from the perspective of a CCD teacher.  For her seventh graders, she writes, the most difficult sacrament to understand is Holy Matrimony.  The cultural messages kids have received by seventh grade make the Catholic image of marriage "extremely counter cultural and almost unbelievable."  Indeed, "It is easier for them to believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ than it is for them to believe that sex belongs in marriage and marriage is a life-long commitment."  She has written more on her experience here.

OMFG

Clockwise: Ziering, Carteris, Priestley, Doherty, Perry, Spelling, Green, and Garth.

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Vischer, Rob | Permalink

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