The Battle Between Innocence and Adulthood: Hollywood's Battle Between Youth and Adult Sexuality
When it comes to sexuality, it's often a taboo subject meant to be displayed behind closed doors and only on dirty movies. Many people and society groups completely frown upon flaunting overt confidence without being deemed something less than honorable. On the big screen, too much sexuality can earn a film a nasty R Rating or an NC-17. Movie directors flirt with the possibility of displaying innocence and a hint of sexuality at the same time before someone catches on to the idea. Are they playing with fire and about to get burned by the Movie Ratings Gods? Decide for yourself.
As children, we tend to focus on the sunnier sides of life, especially in movies. Kids like to watch singing and dancing cartoons that make us feel good. When we get older, we try to confront things that scare in movies, such as someone being different or the loss of a loved one. Here are three categories that allow children to evolve from innocence to adulthood in their movie watching choice. Be careful when taking the next step, because there's no going back once it's been taken.
Cartoon Happiness- Do you want to maintain your child's innocence just a little longer or make them smile after a bad day at school? Put in a cartoon that has lively cartoon characters and music they can dance to. That'll put a smile on their face for sure. Choose the movies they watch a little wisely. Take them to see the upcoming Happy Feet Two for the fun singing and dancing, but also to teach them about cultivating relationships with different species. Happy Feet and Two also showcased the meaning of love without getting too inappropriate. Those movies are for children after all. Cartoons also teach children about the value of loss and how to cope with it to become the person they're meant to be. The Lion King had Simba cope with the death of his father Mufasa and learn to love his childhood friend as his adult soulmate. As Timon and Pumba put it best, there's nothing to worry about. Learn to accept life's difficult matters (death) and the scarier ones (love).
Darker Matter- When kids get older, they tend to step into more dangerous territory blindly and have to learn what they can get to accept it. In 1986's Stand By Me, four childhood friends stumble on a tragedy and have to learn how to recover. Can they deal with it without wrecking their youthful friendship? Only time will tell if that's the case. They also have to discern the difference between right and wrong. Should you tell the truth about witnessing a crime or an affair? The movie Silent Fall had one little boy who witnessed his sister's darkest impulses as she embraced her darker sexual impulses that led to a body count. Will the truth set them both free or sink them? With the animated Who Framed Roget Rabbit?, a human private detective (Bob Hoskins) is embroiled in a case that involved a femme fatale of cartoon proportions that could get him in trouble or worse. Movie like The Good Son and The Man Without a Face are prime examples that appearances aren't everything. Son followed an innocent looking boy who was more lethal than anyone could've imagined. Man followed a disfigured man who became a surrogate father figure to a boy who needed it and a town who detested him.
Maturer Interests- Being a teenager is a challenge in itself. A rush of harmones and moods bouncing from zero to a hundred in no time. It's just learning how to control those impulses better. In the movie Milk Money, a boy hires a prostitute named V. (Melanie Griffith) and ends up helping her find love with his father (Ed Harris). V. is portrayed as a woman of mystery and beauty who put on displayed more for her looks than her actual character. For reality, teenagers have to discern the difference between beauty, desire and something more substantial. Now, that's a trick that many are still working on even as they reach adulthood. This lesson has no time limit to push anyone. Just learn at your own pace and be careful which one you choose. That decision will haunt you for the rest of your life.
In the end, innocence is in the eye of beholder regardless of what your age is. You can only delay the inevitable growing up into a maturer adult who desires the company of the living version of Jessica Rabbit or George Clooney. Sex is something that can't be overlooked in life and in films. We can only sensor our children so far in protecting their innocence. The goal is to control the flow of information without corrupting their youthful view of life. Realize their capacity for maturer information before unleashing it on them or taking it away from them. Choose what they watch on television or on the big screen wisely and stand by for the questions that will soon follow.