Wednesday, April 1, 2009
As I stroll down South Broad Street in Philadelphia, enjoying my daily spring, lunch walk, with no particular destination in mind, I pass a number of newsstands with tons of magazines posted to the top of their little sheds. Suddenly a feeling of shame infiltrates my now tainted mind as I am hypnotized by the scattered booty, which now surrounds me. Ashamed at who or what, I am not sure, but the feeling is a quick yet uncomfortable one. God forbid I stop for a pack of gum, or a daily news. Every magazine cover I see has a beautiful woman's behind or voluptuous boobies, posing to perfection. I am immediately thrown off as my mind has taken a dramatic, undesired sink into the gutter. I have to pray and meditate to regain my focus and I continue to go about my day. This exaggerated description is only slightly apart from the undeniable truth of the matter. You cannot escape SEX!!!
Yet the women on these covers possess a sharp contrast to the women I see rushing through the streets in pumps on their way to work, pushing strollers through the park, or in pants suites carrying brief cases. What do these women think or feel when they see these newsstands completely saturated with photoshop edited women, who are covered only by thongs or sometimes less, possessing near perfect bodies that they may be unable to compare to. What of the men who's perception of women has been warped by not only this representation, but also the music video culture, or even television, where everyone's skin is flawless, every body perfect and each actor is dressed to impress, except for the women, who aren't usually dressed at all.
What does the concept that "sex sells" say about our culture, when you have to dig through layers of soft porn to find something of substance to purchase at a newsstand? Of course these magazines have their purpose, which is to entertain and entice, they provide jobs to many writers, models and photographers, but what do we make of the excess of this genre? It's the same story in New York, on Court Street where the NY Times has reported of complaints by passers by and even politicians, regarding the nature to which these magazines are organize on the newsstands. No doubt there are tons of other magazines that are available for purchase at these places, yet virtually the only ones on public display are the raunchiest.
We realize that the constitutions protects this way of business, however does that mean we should continue to allow it? Is this the image that we want our sons and daughters exposed to before the proper time? I love women as much as the next man, but the last thing I need is having my nosed rubbed in their beauty at every waking moment...I'm trying to focus here people...I'm trying to be good!!!