Friday, August 13, 2010

IN the World, Not OF it

What do you think about commercials these days? If I had to use one word to describe the majority of them, I would use immoral.

Now, the first thing I think of when I think of the word "immoral" is sexual immorality. A LOT of commercials, as you well know, involve sexual immorality. From commercials 100% based on sexuality (for condoms, lubricant, hookup numbers to call to have a more "interesting" night by talking to "hot singles", lingerie ads, enhancement medications, etc.) to commercials with implied sexual themes (for male deodorant/body washes, alcohol, food, clothing, razors, and shaving cream), sexuality infests and poisons even our simplest commercials.

How is this speaking to our youth? It is saying that to attract men, girls need to dress in sexually explicit ways and act in sexual ways. It says, "Sexual=beautiful". It also says to boys that it is okay to treat women like slabs of meat and use them for your visual lusts. It also disillusions young men into thinking that the kind of woman for which they are seeking is and should be the overly revealing, trashy girls portrayed in commercials. It also makes young men think that they can find an abundance of women who actually look like the ones portrayed in Photoshopped commercials. The commercials don't give any regard to personal values held by women, they only pay attention to their looks. Young boys and girls then both believe that looks are all that matter. This isn't just found with women, however. I highlight women because they are usually the ones made into candy shops for the eyes. Men are also exploited sexually in commercials. Commercials many times depict buff, chiseled men for shaving commercials, body wash commercials, and, really, any other commercials that involve men that are successful in some way or another.

Other than sexuality, though, there are may other immoral elements to our commercials in this day and age. Here's one example.

Recently, there has been a commercial for a clothing detergent where a middle-aged woman is approached by her daughter who asks her if she has seen her (the daughter's) shirt. The mom suddenly has a flashback where she is seen wearing her daughter's shirt out partying at a club with her girlfriends and eating something that she spills on the shirt by accident. The mom then replies to her daughter, "It really isn't my style." The mom is then seen tearing through her personal hamper where she eventually finds the shirt, washes it (with the wonderful detergent- that, of course, is better than aaaaany of the other detergents), and is finally seen sitting at the kitchen table. Her daughter walks by with the shirt on, and the mom says, "Oh, you found it." The daughter replies, "Yeah, it must have just been hiding in my closet." wow. That was a completely moral commercial. You know, it is bad enough when the daughter is stealing her mother's clothes to go out and party with friends, but it is horrible when the mother steals her daughter's clothes to go out, sets a terrible example, and then lies about the whole situation! grand.

While I am on the topic of lying, let's discuss those pockets that come in hot and lean forms. The wife always asks her husband, "Hey, have you seen my Lean Pockets?" The husband (in a different part of the house) is seen biting into the missing Lean Pocket where he asks himself, "This is a Lean Pocket?" He then ends the commercial by sheepishly replying, "No dear, I haven't seen your Lean Pocket anywhere..." (The wife usually catches him shortly afterward.) Once again, a lie.

Now, I don't want to seem overly legalistic; I know that these commercials are simply meant to be humorous- no harm intended whatsoever. However, as a Christian, I felt it necessary to ask that although these commercials use lying as a humorous element, what kind of message is being sent to our youth? The message is that lying is okay in certain cases (well, nowadays, it is more like "lying is okay in MOST situations"). I don't know about you, but I don't believe that lying is okay in certain cases... I believe lying is inappropriate in all situations- yes, even white lying. What is the point of white lying? Lying cannot help; it can only hurt. You may disagree, but let me lay down a situation for you to think over. If your friend asks you, "Do these jeans look good on me?" and you know in your heart that they make her look like a sumo wrestling hippo, why tell her that they do look good? All you are going to do is allow her to go out looking horrendous. Sure, being honest may hurt her at first, but the white lie will encourage her to spend money on the horrific jeans of doom and wear them out in public! Which is worse? Plus, if you are a Bible believing Christian like I am, you will know that in the Bible, the Lord does not say that lying is bad... except for white lies which "won't hurt anyone". He simply says that LYING is a sin. period.

These are the two main elements that I am going to expound upon, but they are by NO means the only immoral, sinful elements to commercials. Another one that is notable is vanity- lotions, creams, clothing, hair care, makeup, exercise programs and equipment, etc., etc., etc.! Vanity is prevalent in an undeniably immense amount of commercials. One of the worst thing about vanity is that it is something that even seeps into commercials specifically targeting our very young children. I cannot even tell you how many kid commercials I have seen where many beautiful and skinny, racially diverse boys and girls are shown dancing around, hanging with friends, or playing games or sports while other children stare at them, oohing and ahhing at their incredible fashion senses. The other children look at them with jealousy and amazement; it is so clear that they want to be like the beautiful, interestingly dressed children. Those kids are the popular ones, after all. Other commercials show little girls doing glittery, colorful things to their hair, face, or nails in order to look like beautiful movie stars. They aren't beautiful until they do something. Another element included in commercials is disrespect toward peers or parents with no real repercussion. Many commercials include payback as a laugh-inducing theme.

These are just a few of the immoral elements one can plainly see in commercials currently being shown. Furthermore, I will add that these elements can also be found in most if not all other advertising mediums. Well, I am done with my rant; I know many people may disagree or think I am being too strict. However, I won't back down from my convictions; as a Christian, I cannot back down. The Bible is too clear. The sad part about all of this is that MY children have to be raised in a more corrupt world than the one in which I was raised (which was already pretty corrupt in all honesty!). There are so few places in which children can be safe spiritually and morally. The beautiful part of this is that our children will be raised in a Christian household that encourages Godly values despite immorality that can be found anywhere and everywhere. We cannot censor our future children's lives; we cannot hide our children under a rock. How tempting it is to overprotect... The good news is that we are in the world, not of it. God is always in control... no matter what is being shown on T.V. God is the one inside of each of us that helps us decide to turn the T.V. off, flip to another channel, or simply force ourselves to not absorb what has been seen or heard. That is the hope I can hold on to when I think of what my future children will be exposed to during their young lives. I am not in control. The only thing I can do is share the gospel with my kids someday so that they will have the Holy Spirit to guide them in purity and morality. Either way, it makes one worry... ya know?

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19 (KJV)

Agree or disagree? I would like to know your opinion and support for your opinion. Just want to say hi? Well, you can do that, too. Haha! Pip pip cheerio!


  1. I love this blog! I've been thinking that as well, especially the Tide commercial (aka the first lie example you used) which I saw right before I read this! Brit you should be a writer!!!

  2. or a preacher!! :-) Good job Brittany! I look at some of the commercials and when they are over I ask myself "Just WHAT was being ADVERTISED?"" Cos sometimes through all the sexuality, you can't even tell WHAT you are "suppose" to want to buy. Same in magazines - full page ad, half dressed woman/man and you have to look at the tiny print to see what they are advertising!!

  3. One time dad and I were driving down the road and saw a bill board for some "lite" beer. It showed a skinny girl in a swim suit. I told dad "see that ad, it says...if you drink their beer you will be thin and look like that" His reply was "no, it says if you drink their beer you can get a woman that looks like that" So you see the ads attack each gender in a different way. We both thought it was funny that we each saw it from a different perspective.

  4. @Jenna Aww thanks, girl. That means a lot to me. That is so funny that you saw that exact commercial right before reading this. How funny! Thanks, I definitely would love to write for a living. I appreciate the comment!

    @Mom E Haha! Thanks! That is SO true... you wonder sometimes. Sometimes... scratch that... MANY times, the sexuality has NO meaning for the product or the commercial. It is just ridiculous. Thanks for commenting!

    @Mom Yeah, you have told me that story before- too funny! That is EXACTLY how the ads get people of both sexes. You are totally right. Hey, if they can hit two birds with one stone, they will! Thanks for the comment!

  5. Great post! I think you showed a very clear, biblical perspective of the current generation and its marketing tactics. Also, one of the best parts was how you closed with the proper response for how Christians can protect themselves and their families-- sharing the Gospel and keeping the Holy Spirit as a personal guide through the wasteland.

    And... Hi!

  6. Thanks babe- I appreciate it. ....hi! LOL!!!! Love youuuuu!

  7. Great points Brittany! And I thought I was the only one bothered by these things. :)

    I think that's a great suggestion to turn off the TV! I have to tell you, I've been a lot happier (and saved a lot more money) since I did so. I catch a glance of the TV/news every now and again and it's so NEGATIVE and materialistic.
    Like you said, Ads are the worst. Besides the glorification/normalization of sin, they speak to our subliminal and teach us that we will find satisfaction in "stuff". Even if we are aware of the trap, it still has an effect. For example, Yahoo has a 'Make Home a Haven' series. I was totally disgusted by the materialism and the "buy, buy buy" message. However, after an hour, I felt that I MUST go shopping. .. I'm not even a shopper!!

    Anyhow, great post and I love how you ended it! I especially love what your hubby had to say. That's a great man you got there!