Last Friday in my Early Childhood Education class we watched two different documentaries called The Mickey Mouse Monopoly- Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power and Consuming Kids- The Commercialization of Childhood. Within the first film they really highlighted the messages that come out of Disney movies. As a child I do not remember these movies affecting me in a negative way such as thinking women need to have small waists, big breasts, big eye lashes and seductive gestures. I watched these movies for pure entertainment but can now see as an adult that there are various negative messages that come out of Disney movies. Should we discourage our children from watching these movies if there are these kinds of messages or should we just remind the children that what they see in Disney movies may not always be true? The documentary points out that Disney has a great amount of power on commercialism for children. Children are continually advertising Disney through their toys, backpacks, lunch boxes and clothing however I have to argue that it is not only Disney who does this to children. People are advertising brands throughout their entire lifetime, mostly on their clothing.
The second documentary continues to talk about commercialization. Children have a great amount of power in today’s economy. Marketers are able to take advantage of this to sell products in such a way that children believe they must have it. It is unfortunate that there is media and advertising everywhere. This is causing children to not appreciate what they do have now as something new and more attractive is being produced daily. There are product placements not only in our daily lives but also in movies and shows which plant messages in children’s lives without them even knowing it. There are things like Bus Radios where advertising is constantly being pumped out on their way to school and the children have no choice but to listen to it. It is said in this film that marketers are similar to pedophiles, they’re child experts and know exactly what children are interested in. It is sad to see that children feel that what you buy is who you are and if you do not have the latest item you are thought of as less than. Boys are girls are taught how they should look and act and are not given the opportunity to make their own decisions anymore. Children are playing outside less and less and are being forced to re-enact a certain show or movie with the products that are being produced. They are no longer using their own creativity and imagination to play but rather some company’s interpretation of how these children should play. It is essential that children are engaging in face to face interaction to create a bonding relationship with others. They must also continue to be active instead of playing video games or watching movies as this may lead to obesity, learning disorders, or diabetes. How are we helping this problem if all we are doing is supporting these children’s desire to have the latest toys or video games? It seems like society is giving into the issue instead of fighting it by doing such things as putting T.Vs in vehicles and making car seats wider for obese children.