• Mon, Feb 4 2013

Between Go Daddy Commercials & Beyonce’s Finger Licking, I Spent The Superbowl Covering My Kid’s Eyes

beyonce superbowlLike millions of families across the country, we tuned in to the Superbowl last night. We wanted to see the commercials and Beyonce and cheer on Bernard Pollard, one of our hometown high school football heroes who just won a Superbowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens. So my parents, my daughter and I grabbed some junk food and plopped down on the couch for a little of America’s favorite past time. Unfortunately, I spent as much time covering my five-year-old’s eyes from overly sexualized images as I did actually cheering on the teams.

Listen, I don’t want to be that mom scandalized by Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. I don’t want to be the parent who is perfectly okay with their children watching a violent sport but freaks out over the cheerleaders’ skimpy uniforms. I don’t want to be that person… yet there I was, literally holding a hand over my little girl’s face.

First, it was the Go Daddy commercials. They’re made to be raunchy. They’re supposed to push things too far. Still, when I have to watch close-ups or a supermodel making out with some poor nerdy kid, I couldn’t help but try to distract my daughter’s attention. Sure, she’s seen people kissing before, but the camera angle and soundtrack was made to make people uncomfortable. These weren’t the only over-the-top commercials, but they were the most memorably bad ones.

Then came the performance from Beyonce. Of course she was wonderful. The pyrotechnics, the reuniting of Destiny’s Child, it all came together to make a great show. And the lady who seems to rule the world lately did an amazing job. But let’s not act like the dancing and innuendo were exactly PG. Superbowl halftime shows are notoriously boring because they need to be family-friendly. Bey certainly didn’t seem to let that whole “family-friendly” nonsense tame her performance. Beyonce licked her finger and dragged it into her cleavage. There I was covering my kid’s eyes again.

My final session of, “Please don’t let my daughter see or comprehend this,” came when the funny ladies from Two Broke Girls started swinging around stripper poles. At that point, it was just time to put the little one to bed.

I’m not chronicling all of my cringe-worthy moments to suggest that we should censor these commercials or performances. I’m not saying that because I don’t want my daughter to see that much, “Sex! Sex! Sex!” all over the place, no one else should get to see it. I don’t think that everyone else should have to bow to my daughter or my guidelines on what is appropriate for her to view.

I’m just saying that this is the first year I realized exactly how sexualized the big game has become. Up until now, I was never trying to watch the show with my kid, so I never paid much attention. Suddenly, I feel like we’re going to have to sit the Superbowl out for the next couple of years, until she’s old enough that I can explain a few things to her. You can only cover a child’s eyes so many times during a single evening.

I’ve always been a football fan. Watching Sunday games is a family tradition in our house. But it is amazing how differently I see this past time now that I have a child of my own. And the ever present, “Sex Sells” advertising that dominates the game? Well, it’s just not appropriate for a young child. I’m not saying that the NFL or its advertisers and performers should change. I’m just saying that as a mom, I’m not sure we can tune in to the current fare.

(Photo: YouTube)

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  • Annie @MommyGoesToWork

    You said it, Lindsay! My two and a half year old daughter was not interested in the singing, but the lights and dancing caught her eye…and I had many of the same thoughts you did. I was also a little surprised by the overt sexuality because that’s not typically Beyonce’s bag. Sassy, sure, but I don’t remember seeing her in videos or other performances veering off into that direction. I wish she wouldn’t go there. With talent and beauty like that, she really doesn’t need to.

    • meg

      She has an amazing body, and obviously feels comfortable in her sensuality. Why shouldn’t she? She doesn’t “need” to do anything ….

  • Blooming_Babies

    My ten year old son who has a very healthy interest in cute girls already exclaimed “that’s gross” during the half time show… I laughed and said what’s gross… “The way she’s dancing” lol good to know he’s still a little boy in a lot if ways.

  • Peppercorn

    The Super Bowl has become the largest human trafficking incident in the United States- I can only imagine that the overt sexualization of the event has contributed to that…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/03/super-bowl-sex-trafficking_n_2607871.html

    • meg

      Human trafficking is a scourge in plenty of countries where overt sexualization of ANYTHING is literally illegal. I think blaming Beyonce’s sexy dancing for migrant workers being forced into prostitution is a bit of a stretch.

  • Jenni

    Really Annie? “That’s not typically Beyonce’s bag?” Where have you been since 1990?

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/47-of-beyoncs-absolute-best-dance-moves-6z51

    Considereing that this list covered everything from her legs, her boobs, her waist, her shoulders and her butt, I’d say she wasn’t doing anything outside of the ordinary.

    Now, about the article: You know that the superbowl has been sexual for at least the past 6 years. It is nothing new, and any popular thing gets sexualized in our culture. I can understand that you didn’t like being ‘that mom,’ but you obviously thought that that was the best way to handle the situation. Just don’t let your kid watch tv for the next few months now since all the superbowl ads are going to be used in regular tv slots.

  • http://twitter.com/futuremonkey Pope Ron Polyp II

    There isn’t a 5 year-old on the planet who understands “suggestive” behavior. They *do* understand their parents’ reactions, though, and they’re smart enough to put 2 and 2 together. Bottom line: if you the parent don’t start none, there won’t be none.