“What more could have been said?” I wondered, left with a feeling of content, after reading Joyce Garity’s essay “Is Sex All That Matters?” Able to identify with her on most of her viewpoints of the world in which we live in today, I felt some of the weight being lifted from off my shoulders; relieved that I’m not the only human in this world looking upon magazine and TV ads, with half-naked models posing as sex exploits, as a brainwashing on people’s minds.
We are influenced by our society, culture and most of all what we perceive. There isn’t a magazine, television commercial or billboard advertisement in Times Square that’s not giving or sending out a sexual message to people. These ads are intended for viewers to believe in their fantasies and promises that if you don’t buy and wear a certain pair of jeans, you won’t look sexy or, if you don’t buy and wear a certain cologne or perfume, no man will ever want you, or even if you don’t look thin and petite you won’t have a social life because being skinny is considered beautiful. In most American commercials, literally, a man and woman run around chasing each other on a beach half-naked; lovingly they embrace each other and kiss, implying “Forget about reality, let’s make love. Forget about the fact that you might have a disease, and I have a big chance of getting pregnant. Forget about it.” The more people watch these commercials, the more they believe these intended messages to be true. Forget about everything, only love and passion matters! Wrong! Today, the statistics on people diagnosed with having a sexually transmitted disease is high, and the statistics on young teens becoming impregnated is high. And, because of these teens having babies that they’re unable to take care of, there are millions of children in foster care right now without any real place to call home.
In her essay, Joyce Garity, a social worker, hits every subject pertaining to “sex in media” and pinpoints what negative messages the world is sending out to our youth today. She refers to one girl in particular. Elaine had come to live with her for a while. Troubled and nearly lonesome in the world, she was pregnant again with her second child while her first child had already been placed in a foster home. When asked by Garity why she allowed herself to become pregnant again, she said she thought birth control and condoms to be unromantic and embarrassing; one couldn’t really be passionate with sex and worry about using contraceptives at the same time. In other words, Elaine was just another brainwashed individual, lost in a fantasy where negativity doesn’t exist. Forget about reality!
How can we deprogram the damage that has been done by the media? We can start by self-educating ourselves through self-help books. Through self-educating ourselves, we obtain knowledge and through knowledge come a transformation of our way of thinking, acting and feeling. Let’s start making our own conclusions as to how we should live based on righteous morals and norms.
© copyright 2008 Viola Morgan. All rights reserved.