An open letter to the producers of MTV: (I don’t even know what “open letter” means, really, but I’m following Sinead’s lead)
Apparently there’s something about Monday nights where I just feel like ripping into various aspects of American pop culture, and tonight my victim is the entire network MTV. I wrote a real pen-to-paper letter to MTV when I was 18, which I’m sure was thrown away with all the other random crap they receive from hundreds of people every day, so I’m going to take a little time to write things down in today’s permanent ink – the Internet.
MTV has an interesting repertoire of shows in their lineup. I kinda understand where they’re going with shows like “Teen Mom” — I think the messaging is supposed to be something along the lines of, “look how hard your life will be if you have a child when you are a teenager” BUT I’m not sure that’s the message that is actually perceived from their audience. When absolutely nothing else is on TV and I’m forced to watch Teen Mom, I am constantly astounded by the strength of some of the women on the show. However, the fact that the crazy girl Janelle (I think from season 2) was featured multiple times in magazines like US Weekly is, quite frankly, disturbing. She was photographed in and out of clubs, in rehab, behind the wheel during a DUI arrest, with tons of different boyfriends, and who knows what else, and THEN it was broadcasted to America as if it was newsworthy. As if we cared. This is not someone that any young girl should look up to. I think the Teen Mom program as a whole shouldn’t be so damn glorified; I respect that these girls are good moms and can hold it together being so young, but teen pregnancy is not an epidemic that anyone should be imitating.
Jersey Shore – what a pitiful excuse for humanity. First of all, how is this relevant on MUSIC TELEVISION? (Hint: it’s not) Second, what aspect of these peoples’ lives is an important takeaway, something we should all try to emulate every day? Is it the getting drunk? Or the ridiculous amounts of unsafe sex? Or fighting, making fun of each other, flashing body parts that are meant to stay private? It’s crazy that someone, somewhere, thinks that these shows are important for young adults across America to watch.
I realize ratings are important; I have a job where I work to improve revenue and the bottom line, too. Who doesn’t? I think the big dogs at MTV need to revisit how their shows line up with the attitudes and desires of the teens and young adults in America. MTV should be reminding America’s youth that they are a force to be reckoned with, a generation with the power to make changes in our country. If you’re not going to have shows about music, at least have inspiring shows that don’t leave me feeling like my intelligence regressed 10 years. As someone who I would assume is at the upper end of MTV’s target market, I must say, I’ve been disappointed with the network’s programs for quite some time. We Millennials have a voice, and it deserves to be heard.