Parenting Blog

Quick Thoughts: Katy Perry & Elmo

Look, I don’t like any merger of sexuality and childhood but Sesame Street’s decision to pull the Katy Perry & Elmo “Hot & Cold” video (from the Sesame Street TV broadcast) reeks of overreaction – even if it is the right move.  How could the folks behind The Street think this was ever going to fly with the majority of ‘middle-American’ families (even if those same families ignore other sexual imagery their young children are being exposed to on a daily basis)?

Katy is a curvaceous gal, for sure, but her cleavage-showing yellow dress-up dress isn’t much different than what Miles Cyrus & her back-up dancers wore during her infamous pole dancing performance on the Teen Choice Awards or what Britney Spears puts on for her videos & live concerts – and I know that many preschoolers with older siblings in their household unfortunately have access to both of those acts.  Additionally, if you and your 3-year old walk into any Halloween costume shop right now, maybe to buy an Elmo outfit, your little one is going to see costumes for tweens and teens with photos that are WAY more revealing and sexy than what Ms. Perry is wearing while she runs around with Elmo.  All of it this, on some level, violating the innocence of childhood.  Why isn’t the outrage consistent?

My main beef with inviting Katy Perry to The Street is that I’m fundamentally opposed to having someone who’s other songs reference hanging yourself and masturbating, who’s real videos are actually risque, and who appears naked (or nearly naked) on album covers and all over the web, be associated with kid’s favorite characters.  Does Sesame Street need to reach for relevance this badly?

Sesame Street should never, ever be a gateway to ramped up sexuality, and I’d prefer if it didn’t introduce kids to shallow pop music either.

Watch the Katy Perry & Elmo video below and tell me your thoughts.

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