If You Give A Kid A Casket
By: Jaye M. Rodenbush
Christian parents treating their young girls to McDonalds may want to take note. The toys in the “Happy Meal” box are from a popular Mattel doll franchise called, “Monster High” and include a casket shaped purse, a fortune-telling skull, vampire and bone stickers and more. The franchise has branched into books, movies, video games, TV series, clothing and toys. Monster High glorifies a culture of death. The school lockers on the TV show and in the toy sets are shaped like caskets. The characters are vampires, zombies, and the undead. The website features a “Fearbook” section to help visitors keep track of their school plans and memories. The character’s clothing combined with exaggerated, provocative make-up contribute to the early sexualization of its target audience (girls age 6-10).
One would hope that McDonalds would take a bit more thought to their social responsibility. But, if corporations aren’t going to be responsible, what about us as parents?Can we possibly think these things do not matter and that all forms of entertainment are created equal?
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens. Cutting and body mutilation are a major societal problem. A study published in the journal Psychological Medicine documents that 46% of teens admit to purposely hurting themselves via cutting, burning their skin and biting themselves. Teens struggle as they deal with unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The Center for Disease Control says one in four girls between 14-19 has at least one STD. Yet the media that hold so much influence seem to ignore these issues and continue to push the envelope, offering dark and sexualized content to younger and younger audiences.
We must admit that these are not merely harmless forms of entertainment. A steady stream of this type of content is desensitizing today’s kids. It all leads somewhere. The question is where? And do we really want to go there? What really does happen when we start giving our kids caskets as toys?
IF YOU GIVE A KID A CASKET
If you give a kid a casket, she’s probably going to play around with idea of death.
And, she’ll need a new identity to go with it.
She just might ask you for some new music, filled with violence and the language of despair.
And when you buy her the latest CD she’ll probably ask for some new clothes.
Her emerging personality and style will require provocative outfits that exploit her femininity and portray her as a sex object.
And when you buy her the clothes, she’ll obsess about her appearance
and compare herself to the Photoshopped images of models and rock stars.
She’ll probably want to hide herself behind a mask of make-up and tattoos.
It’s likely that she still won’t think she measures up.
She may feel ugly, unlovable, and unworthy.
You’ll try to break down the walls of insecurity and self-doubt,
but they will likely be mortared strong,
so strong in fact that she may not ask you for anything anymore.
She may isolate herself from her friends and her family.
The little girl, once full of life and laughter, smiles and giggles will disappear.
Quietly, yet defiantly she may mutilate her body.
Cut her skin open. Burn her flesh. Starve herself.
The lines of fantasy and reality will blur.
The beauty of her femininity will be distorted.
She’ll use sexual relationships to help her boost her self-con?idence,
First one, then another, then another, then another.
They in turn will use her.
The grief she’ll feel from her loss of innocence will be great.
She will ask for something to numb the pain.
She may find it’s easier to medicate herself.
Drugs and alcohol will rule her new life. Hopeless, needy, desperate she’ll romanticize death.
She will visualize herself free from the pain and torment of this life.
And chances are if she begins to glorify death,
she’s going to need a casket to go with it.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Jaye M. Rodenbush
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