Rant & Rave

By Yoon Jee Kim

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Pop culture
obsessed with sex

SOMETIMES I feel like an 80-year-old lady. Am I the only 16-year-old living in the United States offended by all the sex in the media?

Sex ruined pop music the year after I graduated from elementary school. All the movies are now rated R, and even PG-13 movies have some nudity and allusions to sex. Posters about sex and pictures of scantily clad women are available at gift, book and music stores.

While I was attending a brief conference at the University of Hawaii, a girl in my dorm came back from shopping one day and proudly showed me the new addition to her wall already adorned with half-naked guys. It was a poster titled "What is Sex?"

Sigh. Isn't there anything out there more beautiful and mind-enhancing than a poster with quotations about sex? Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night" is definitely more engaging than a 24-by-36 poster with quotations such as, "God is a man because if she were a woman, she would have made sperm taste like chocolate."

Not only am I a victim of my dorm mate's tastes, but I'm also a victim of the poster industry. When looking for a poster to cover my newly plastered walls, all I could find were voluptuous women wearing nothing but a sheet or string bikini. I finally gave up and bought an ancient map of the world from Rand McNally.

I can deal with the scarcity of decent posters to choose from, but when I'm subject to lyrics such as "I'll make love to you/baby all through the night," sung by Boyz II Men whenever I turn on the radio, I just stop listening to the radio altogether.

My face can achieve amazing shades of red while riding in the car with my parents while Salt-N-Pepa belt out "Let's talk about sex, baby, lets talk about you and me," or Shaggy coos, "Girl your booty is so round, let me lick you up and down."

What ever happened to wholesome clean songs such as "Yesterday," "Right Here Waiting" and "If We Hold on Together," that made you happy without describing some type of lewd, intimate act?

The hottest film releases over the summer -- "Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me," "Eyes Wide Shut," "American Pie," and "Sex in the City" -- were all centered around sex.

Don't we get enough sex from the radio, printed material and our president, Bill Clinton? Do we seriously need to watch two hours of more sex?

Television, the most popular type of media, is worse than those previously mentioned. Movies you can avoid, but it is rare to find a household without TV.

Many young children have access to channels that go beyond showing Piglet and Pooh's platonic relationship.

"The Jerry Springer Show" is usually about the problems that arise from sexual relationships. "Friends" is very open about the sexual relationships between friends in a group. Even young adult shows such as "Dawson's Creek" are not without adult material.

I can understand 13-year-old boys newly discovering their sexuality being obsessed with sex, but it's surprising that a whole nation can be populated with people of all ages, too immature to grow up.

While I wait for the nation to mature and grow out of this sex-obsessed phase, I shall sit on my porch steps knitting tiny booties for the babies they'll be making. Yes, this is me, 16 going on 81.

Yoon Jee Kim is a junior at Roosevelt High School.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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