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Pop Culture Counterpoint

surprised-babyThey say a picture is worth a thousand words.  In the case of two recent upheavals in the zeitgeist, I’d say that’s an understatement.

I’m speaking about the uproar caused when Derek Jeter’s super model girlfriend, model Hannah Davis posed suggestively – I’d say pornographically – on the cover of Sports Illustrated newest swimsuit edition.  My gosh, you didn’t have to imagine much, as her swimsuit bottom, revealed her freshly shorn or retouched pubic region much the way an overcooked pamper might reveal too much of an infant’s behind. HD.SI_-273x300

Next up in the cacophony of social chatter was the leaked photo of Cindy Crawford looking more like a human being and less like an airbrushed alien Barbie Doll.  Really?  Did we really need a national debate to engage us all because I saw Cindy’s belly and it didn’t make me want to stop the car and hurl myself off the highest bridge.  B9uP_e7IEAAcx-i

What does this hysteria to hyper sexualize and hyper analyze our body types really speak to?  Is it aspiration?  Envy?  Hatred?  Is it Sex?  Love?  Pornography?  Are we feeling overprotective of ourselves, or our children?  Are we getting in touch with self-like, or self-loathing.  Clearly there must be a reason that all the chatter has surfaced, but I’d like to offer a slightly more out-of-the box argument.  And it starts with gratitude.  

No matter what the issue, no matter how pro or con we feel about Sport Illustrated or Cindy Crawford, I am grateful we live in a culture where art and commerce, where freedom of speech and freedom of expression is ingrained in everything we do.  It’s in our DNA.  But freedom comes with a price.  We have to think right around it.  We have to respect freedom.  And we must do anything and everything in our power to understand that with free speech comes responsibility.

There are responsibilities that come with Sports Illustrated’s artistic choice to infiltrate the vision of minors with Hannah Davis’ peek-a-boo love patch. There must be an awareness that such images create and promote damaging responses in young children. Hyper sexualized images sexualize childhood.  Sexualized childhoods interfere with normal childhood development.  Sexualized images, especially of infantilized (“pre-pubescent”) women force children into an unhealthy state of being because, by their very nature and age, children are not equipped mentally, emotionally or physically, to deal with these images. These images promote stereotypes, teach highly inappropriate gender roles and cause body dysmorphia – a HUGE issue for tween and teen girls in this country.  

And the effects go beyond seeing the magazine in supermarkets, 7-Elevens or gas stations.  They permeate the world at large.  Did you know that ISIS, the current world-wide incarnate of evil and one of the greatest scourges on earth, is full of male members who are completely addicted to porn?  One of the most painful and heinous acts by its members is to go into villages and kidnap women for the sole purpose of mutilating, raping or forcing them into sex slavery.

This conversation needs to go deeper than Ms. Davis’ “down there”.  We have all but obliterated the delicate balance that must be regained between having the honor of living in a free and open culture and society, and understanding the ramifications of running roughshod over this treasured fact.  We are charged with the responsibility of considering the impact our personal and artistic freedoms has on the landscape of the souls of children and young women all around the world.   

Having been raised in a rather artistic, intellectual and creative home by poet and professor parents, I tread carefully when it comes to offering critiques that could be construed as censorship.  I dream of a world where all thoughtful, mindful and intentional acts of art and personal expression are received without fear of repercussion.  I do not wish for anyone to have to live behind closed closet doors for safety’s sake.  We should not live in a world where evil incarnate such as terrorist and rebel organizations commit daily heinous acts of mutilation, torture and rape.

On the other hand, we’ve seen a bit more of a true Goddess.  In a rare and naturally un-retouched pose leaked of 49 year-old super model Cindy Crawford we glimpse a spiritually sexy mother whose body is sexy, strong and REAL.  Wonderful.  For all you haters please know for most of us, Cindy Crawford is the embodiment a grown women who represents true beauty.  She is a beacon of personal and artistic freedom flaunting imperfections and experience in her image – honestly exhibiting signs of normal life and function, such as eating, birthing and aging.  

I don’t know if the photo of Cindy Crawford leaked to the world was agreed to by Ms. Crawford.  I don’t think it was.  I’m sorry if its caused her embarrassment, but for the rest of us, it’s a not-so-subtle reminder that sometimes, even in the midst of a social leak, there is some good that can come from the breach.  I’m proud to be reminded that even one of the most beautiful women in the world is truly a flesh and blood creature whose life reminds all of us that beauty can take many forms, and why not?   Freedom of speech in this case is a reminder that perfection is indeed perfect when it is surprising, provocative and created by nature.

So most importantly, amidst the screaming, posting, tweeting, writing, producing and reacting to the images that permeate our culture, first – be grateful that we are able to do, think, feel, and say whatever we wish.  And from that gratefulness, I pray there will be a growing mindfulness.  Then we can really start to get somewhere as a nation, on behalf of all our humanity – and all of our children.

powerful_11

EDUCATION & RESOURCES:
Below are links to read, share and offer support on the important topics covered in this blog:
BODY DYSMORPHIA
IMAGES OF WOMEN IN MEDIA
HYPER-SEXUALIZATION
MEDIA EDUCATION: THE CODES OF GENDER
SEXUALIZED CHILDHOOD
GENDER ROLES
MORE ON PROTECTING YOUR CHILD FROM A SEXUALIZED CHILDHOOD
ORGANIZATIONS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
1) ECPATUSA.org
2) Human Trafficking.org
3) WomensLaw.org
4) Katonah Education Exchange Program (KEEP)

KEEP-Logo-sized

[N.B. Thank you to ChuckWebster for the surprised baby shot, lipstickandpolitics for the beautiful “I Am Powerful” jpeg & tweep Melissa Atkins Wardy for your excellent piece: Add To Your Grocery List Some Mainstream Porn and powerful book Redefining Girly.

And thank you to Andy Kadison. This blog post was inspired by, and finessed after passionate discussions with you, my partner and sounding board. I love you for acquiescing when I’m right, and aiding me by aligning and brilliantly editing my intentions and words. You are the yin to my yang.]

Bruce! My Valentine’s She-ro!

“… Considering the violence and discrimination that transgender people endure, no one would go through this except for the most profound of motivations: to be authentic to one’s inner self.” (Nicholas Kristof, NY Times) Authenticity to one’s inner self? It’s not just a powerful ideal, it’s the embodiment of SELF-LOVE and the perfect topic to…

The Story of Nick

Mundane and expected – parents approach the bittersweet final weekend of summer wanting to make sure the summer beach toys are put away, sleep schedules are being wound back and calculators are purchased in anticipation for what will be just another regular school year. And it isn’t just the parents who are focused on the…

Good Morning Heaven

Many won’t ever know what it is to lose someone they love after that person has lost their own sense of personal joy. I do. Though the final lynch pin in my mother’s medical madness that stretched across most of my childhood and adult life, was technically cancer, her first diagnosis and underlying illness was…

Prelude to Extreme Guide to Parenting

extreme

It seems appropriate that Andy (aka my honey) and I co-write a blog on the eve of the premier of Bravo’s Extreme Guide to Parenting. If you haven’t seen the tweets and posts splattered across my social media, we’re the first family seen on the series and along with Emma and Yonah, offer a non-traditional…

Mama Loves a Parade

gay_pride

Because yesterday was the 5 month anniversary of her passing and the NYC Gay Pride Parade, I invite you to read the (newly edited) piece, shared on a favorite place for all things women related – my sister blog, on BlogHer. For Mama, and all the reluctant lesbians who have gone before . . ….

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – EXTREME GUIDE TO PARENTING!

TUNE IN TO SEE Spiritually Sexy Diva Mama, Shira Adler & family on the debut episode of BRAVO TV’s Extreme Guide to Parenting, airing Thrs. Aug. 7, 9:30pm/8:30c. In honor of the premier, take advantage of a special discount on Diva Mama Aromatherapy Synergy Sprays as seen in the premier of Bravo’s new docu-series Extreme…

Upside Down Icicle

The Upsidedown Icicle

Despite feeling raw in my still fresh mourning of my mother’s passing, yesterday, I spotted something uncommonly soothing and strangely inspiring. I felt blessed to capture such a rare sight; an obvious totem. A bizarre beacon, I decided it was a sign because it seemed a fitting gesture from my mother, who always urged me…

Our Quiet Hero – in Memory of Shelley Adler

Mama Bench

A poem of my mother’s: I would pass quickly into nothingness. God does not need my dust to fertilize His flowers and I prefer not to feed His worms. I would lose my ashes as a summer day tossed with gentle breezes to some warm valley where they might stay harmlessly enough in trees or…

Child Meets World

images

As a performer myself, I long debated if I should entertain, much less encourage artistic endeavors beyond the normal childhood dabbling. But life happens when you’re busy making plans, or at least contemplating said plans. So it shouldn’t be that surprising that practically overnight, my shy, generally low self-esteem laden daughter has become not only…

Meet Shira at the Holistic Moms Network Monthly Meeting  Thursday,  April 23rd, 9:30am - 11am at the Katonah United Methodist Church

Meet Shira at the Holistic Moms Network Monthly Meeting
Thursday, April 23rd, 9:30am – 11am

Visit Holistic Moms Network Northern Westchester chapter for more Information!

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

KULATHON (raising money for therapeutic yoga programs) – Sunday, April 12th – Paterson, NJ
Rutgers Health & Wellness FairWednesday, April 15th – Newark, NJ
JOIN US for our next Holistic Moms Network meeting Thursday, April 23rd – Katonah, NY
Connecticut Awaken Wellness FairSaturday, April 25 – Stamford, CT
Elemental Mediums Wellness & Psychic Fair (raising money for local animal organizations) – Sun. May 3rd, Cohoes NY (zip 12047)
Connections Wellness & Psychic FairSaturday, May 16th – Tarrytown, NY

 

BONUS VIDEOS from BRAVO’s EXTREME GUIDE to PARENTING

“What’s Weird About My Mom. . .”

“Why Can’t Unicorns Be Real?”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What’s holding you back from living a fully vibrant life?

Diva Mama, Shira Adler is a certified past life regressionist, inspirational host, writer and speaker who can help you in person, at workshops and through phone sessions!

 

Divas-Do-Lunch/Divas-Night-Out

Have You Hugged Your Inner D.I.V.A. Today™? D.I.V.A. is an innovative, timely and engaging new program hosted by inspirational host, writer and speaker Shira Adler! Shira Adler is passionately dedicated to helping women balance the tightrope between their inner Diva and outer Mama. Meet, greet and eat while learning tips and transformational tools you can use for your life, love, family, career and relationships. And don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Upcoming Appearances & Programs

Click DIVA for the upcoming Divas-do-Lunch / Divas-Night-Out programs! Click below to reserve your seat now!






Shira is featured on Ariane de Bonvoisin’s First 30 Days. “Shira’s greatest joy is touching people and helping them activate their own connections, whatever they turn out to be.”
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