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Posts tagged ‘Kids’

The Sedentary Life

An article from Time by staff writer Alice Park focuses on the physical health effects of kids’ television viewing. The article summarizes the findings of researchers from the US and Spain who studied inactivity in 111 children ranging from 3 to 8 years old. The researchers found that of television, Internet and video games, television is the worst for kids. They found that kids who watch excessive television are more likely to have higher blood pressure, even if they’re at a healthy weight.

Kid watching TV on the couch, eating potato chips (click for source)

What makes television worse than other sedentary activities? The findings suggest that kids watching television are likely to be eating unhealthy snacks, which could explain the rise in blood pressure. They also note that watching television right before bed stimulates kids’ minds and keeps them up. This lack of sleep affects metabolism and can cause weight gain.

While the main concerns of parents about television in the 1950s was the morality and emotional effects of television, rather than its physical effects. Family values were also central to television rhetoric. “In advice literature of the period, mass media became a central focus of concern as experts told parents how to control and regulate media in ways that promoted family values,” writes Spigel in “Seducing the Innocent.” Spigel and modern parents have similar concerns, however, when it comes to turning off the tube. Concern for kids with the “telebugeye” came about along with concerns for kids “habits of hygiene, nutrition and decorum” (p. 147). Parents have feared the effects on kids’ television-viewing habits since television’s invention, but now they have there is evidence of how detrimental “vegging out” in front of the TV can be.

For a post on the same article, please see Mira’s blog post.

La Belle Diaperina

In Glad Rags to Riches, Shirley Temple plays La Belle Diaperina. Diaperina is a showgirl in a night club that is stuck in a life she despises. The club owner wants Temple for himself, forcing her to perform until she marries him. She refuses and wishes that her sweetheart would save her. Her sweetheart, Elmer, just so happens to stumble into the poster for her act and realizes that he may have finally found his love. They find each other in the club during a very can-can like dance number, upsetting her boss. He kicks Elmer out of the club, but only until he comes crashing back in with police to arrest the horrible club owner. Diaperina and Elmer share a celebratory smooch and leave hand in hand to the Wedding March.

There are so many different things that toe the line “between innocence and flirtatiousness.” Temples character is burlesque dancer, in the first scene she is wearing a top hat and shiny black top/diaper. Immediately after her performance it pans to a boy clapping enthusiastically. Her boss is creepy, especially since he is played by a child, and in the final scenes is shown trying to force a kiss on Temple as she tries to get away.

I understand completely the idea behind the Baby Burlesks, it is funny to see kids imitate adults. This was something I still love in appropriate settings such as Little Rascalls. But Riches crosses the line, these are four year olds! Even if the child “goes through the motions of adult characters without…comprehending anything”(Kasson, 197), what does it say about the adults watching? Just because they don’t understand, we do.