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Subject: Indulgent mothers/ spoiled sons= ads and family movies?

Written By: The Valley Goth on 12/31/12 at 11:24 pm

Like, Hi, Fer Shurr,

Ever since I was younger, I've noticed a rather disturbing American trend, which concerns a constant stereotype of the relationships between mothers and sons in American advertisements and family movies; that trend concerns indulgent mothers who always give in to their spoiled sons, no matter what.

Let me explain what I mean about...

* THE PRINT ADVERTISEMENTS: I don't know if this is true today, but toy ads from the 1980s sometimes featured boys playing with Transformer-type toys, while their mothers just looked on lovingly...or subserviently. I haven't seen many print ads in which mothers are actually engaging with their sons. I think that the image of a mom just staring adoringly at her son, as though her ONLY WORTHWHILE contribution to his playtime enjoyment is the purchase of whichever toys he's been pestering her about, is rather sad.

* THE T.V. ADVERTISEMENTS: Junk food companies have ALWAYS seemed to cater to the idea that mothers should always give in to sons when it comes to the foods that are the absolute WORST for growing children. Has anybody else noticed exactly WHO ALWAYS seems to be featured in ads for such foods as Hot Pockets, Totinos, Tyson's Anytizers, etc.? The featured people almost always seem to be mothers and sons. Any of these commercials will start out with the All American Son walking into the kitchen after school...WITH ABOUT 3 OR SO UNINVITED MALE FRIENDS! The A.A.S. and his friends will start searching for food, and then Stepford Mom will placate them all with the featured junk food that's being pushed, saving the day and spoiling her son, AND his friends, rotten by keeping them "satisfied until dinner".

Recently, I watched an ad for ONE of the aforementioned products (I can't remember which one), wherein the hungry teen son's sister is sitting at the table, eating some healthier snack. When the mother produces the featured junk food, the little girl sort of laughs at her foolish brother.

THAT ad struck me as being both sad and unfair in TWO ways. First of all, it's pathetic because, like the other ads, it encourages mothers to give in to their sons, despite the fact that doing so can sometimes encourage bad eating habits, obesity, etc. Secondly, the ad pushes a junk food product, WHILE at the same time bashing the teenaged boy; the ad essentially tells its viewers the following: "Moms should spoil their SONS, because their sons are BOYS, who NEED to be placated; the GIRLS are SMARTER than the BOYS, and they actually APPRECIATE good nutrition. Besides, sons aren't WORTH feeding WELL." ACK! What a pathetic message, shouted only for the purpose of pushing a certain type of junk food.

I look forward to the day when food advertisements will stop pushing these sexist, unfair, and harmful ideas about mothers and sons.

* THE FAMILY MOVIES: I still need to do some research, with regards to this category.

What are your opinions, with regards to this issue?

Subject: Re: Indulgent mothers/ spoiled sons= ads and family movies?

Written By: gibbo on 01/01/13 at 2:57 am

I agree about over indulgent mothers and the future affects on their sons. I think movies and tv are just reflecting the messed up families of today. Is their one 'normal' family on tv today?

I wouldn't read too much into tv ads. They will portray people however they wish to sell their product. This does not mean that home life actually reflects the tv ad ... although 'pester power' is a major selling tool.

Additionally, looking on lovingly does not constitute ' subservience. It is up to parents to establish and maintain boundaries for their children ... so that subservience is not the outcome. Boys, especially, should learn how to look after themselves when they eventually leave home ... and simply not replace mother with wife and then that person 'looks after' them.  Girls should take special note of a boys relationship with his mother (pre-marriage). If that boy treats his mother with disrespect and allows her to everything for him ... he will probably do that same in marriage.

As for girls being smarter about nutrition .... They may be far more aware of calory intake etc but I'm not convinced that it is for the right (health) reasons. There are far too many overweight young people (both boys and girls) hanging out at fast food joints. There are also too many young people (girls in particular) having body/self worth issues and developing eating disorders etc.

Education on these matters begins at home .. but that is still no guarantee of dodging the self worth issue bullet!

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