… AS THEIR CHILDREN ARE! TRAILER “HARD”
Nowadays, parents are facing a problem that the older generations did not have to face: the Internet and all the pressure it brings to young adults when it comes to exposing themselves.
Directors Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus decided to take a look into the life of three different people and see what social networks like Facebook do to a basic, normal person and how it contributes to change one’s life, not always in a good way. The three stories are related in the documentary Sexy Baby now playing in New York and Los Angeles.
During the past couple of years, the two directors followed a twelve-year-old girl, Winnifred amazingly precocious and yet still susceptible to play into the new expectations for how a girl should think, dress and act. She watches what is happening around her and wants to do the same, like posing as the models do, taking sexy pictures and posting them on her Facebook account. The parents are overwhelmed by what is going on in their child’s life and Winnifred herself goes beyond her better instincts by acting like some grown ups she witnesses.
The second story is about twenty-two-year-old Laura, who is a sweet, self-possessed kindergarten teacher but who has built a life of self-consciousness and shame about he size and shape of one of her intimate parts. The boyfriends she had have only pushed her further toward the certainty that plastic surgery is the answer to her problems and the only way to find happiness. We can witness how the pressure put on us by the people we have in our life can be a real big deal and makes us act like they want us to, even if we know that it is not the right thing to do.
The third story is about Nichole, 32 also known for many years as Nikita Kash model, stripper and porn star who has left the business and got married. She now teaches “civilian” women how to pole dance. Nichole struggles to start a family and she faces the challenges of re-defining herself outside of her past and reconciling what messages and image she helped to prorogate to young children in a culture seemingly obsessed with appearance, and how others might see them.
The documentary is strong, graphic and poignant. Everyone is affected by this life of post-internet age that got out of hands: boys “learn” about anatomy from hip-hop, girls feel increasingly compelled to expose and change their bodies to fit unrealistic and unhealthy icons whereas parents are stuck in impossible 24/7 watchdog roles. Most of the time at least… In fact, sometimes we can witness that parents, mothers, are acting worse than their children, behaving like teenagers, sending the wrong messages and setting bad examples to their own kids.
Where does the boundary stand? At what age is it ok to be on social networks? How much of our lives can we share and make public? How much do we have to hide? How can we face it?
This documentary tackles these subjects with passion and depth and it deserves a wide audience. All the substance of the problem is summarized in Winnifred’s sentence: “Just because I know it’s corrupting me doesn’t mean I don’t still want it.” The clarity of her thoughts is really scary… This new generation IS in trouble. Something as out of control as the social networks shouldn’t be left in the hands of inexperienced, young and influenceable people.
Some might argue that like everything new, people are scared because they do not really know the consequences of the Internet on their children. This generation is the first one experiencing it… Maybe it is a lot of fuss about nothing… After all, TV was considered once as a wrong media until people learned how to live with it…
What do you think? Is the Internet a danger for our children? For us?
Let’s hope Sexy baby will be shown in our theaters very soon!
October 23rd 2012