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My Super Sweet 16!

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For my reality T.V. show, I watched Sweet 16. This is a show about girls (mostly) and boys who have very wealthy parents and who are having a sixteenth birthday party. These kids pretty much can have a party with no limitations as far as money goes. The one I watched was about a girl named Nikki. Nikki had a beach themed party, held in a night-club like atmosphere, and complete with a famous performer named Pit-bull. The show starts with introducing the girl, then how she plans her party and how much money her parents spend on it, and then it ends with the party.

This show is one that airs on MTV. It is a channel geared toward tweens to people in their twenties. The show I watched played at 5:30 P.M. but I know that there are airings of this Sweet 16 show on many different times during the day. I think this Sweet 16 program airs for a couple of reasons. First, I think it is geared toward people (mainly girls) who have yet to have their 16th birthday so that they can see it and see how big of a deal some people make of it. Then they can want to have a big party, just like the one that they see on the show. Also, I think it is there for people (again mostly girls) who are above the age of 16 so that they can just watch and see how spoiled these girls are. I really don’t see any other point to the show than just to see how these girls get anything they want and don’t really appreciate it at all. Right when the show ends the big MTV symbol comes up saying it is a MTV production.

Like I said I think that there are two intended audiences. I watched the commercials as well as the show, and some of the commericals were: Gap, United States Navy, Burger King, the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, gum, sanitary napkins, a comedy called Blades of Glory, ring tones for cell phones, the Sonic fast-food restaurant, the movie Preminition, and MLB 07 video game from Wal-Mart. There were no commercials for minivans, Viagra, or dentures which makes sense because this show isn’t for older audiences.

While watching the show, I noted many things that I may have never noticed before taking this women’s studies class.

For Nikki to decide who could go to her party, she had a pre-party at her house. During this pre-party, she had everyone get on the opposite side of her volleyball net and she threw mini-volleyballs to them. Whoever caught one would be invited to her party. To me this just seems like only the ‘strong’ survive. Out of the 10 or so balls we saw her throw during the show, I would say about 8 of the people who caught them were guys.

Another thing that was a big deal in the show was Nikki’s dad meeting the boy who was going to be her date at the party. She wasn’t allowed to date until she was 16 so since this was her 16th birthday, this meant that it was time for her dad to meet her date. For this to happen, her dad and Nikki met the boyfriend at a nice restaurant. They show the boyfriend pull up in a huge truck with huge tires on it. It was a demonstration of the upper class having ridiculous accessories. The only thing the dad does to see if the boy is acceptable for his daughter is ask him a series of questions: where he lives, how old he is, who his parents are, and where he goes to school. These questions seem to me like all the dad cares about is where the boy comes from and if his social status is high enough to date his daughter. Her dad never asked any questions about if he knows how to treat a girl or if he has a safe driving record. I thought this was an example of the class divisions in society and how these divisions tend to stay within themselves. This also made me think, why is it her dad who has to approve of the boy, why isn’t the mom allowed a say in who she thinks that her daughter should date? I think this is a form of male privilege. In reading 2 of Feminist Frontiers, Peggy McIntosh has an article called “White Privilege and Male Privilege.? She says “only rarely will a man go beyond acknowledging that women are disadvantaged to acknowledging that men have unearned advantage.? (pg 10)

The most obvious thing that I was thinking about in this show was division of class and white supremacy. Peggy McIntosh says, “I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets? (pg 10). Nikki’s party was full of white people. The only minorities that I saw the whole show were some African-American men who were working at her party. It was also very obvious how everyone at that party was “doing gender.? It was like Judith Lorber said in her article “‘Night to His Day’: The Social Construction of Gender,? “gender, like culture, is a human production that depends on everyone constantly ‘doing gender’.? (Feminist Frontiers, pg 41). Every girl there was dressed in the most girly cloths, including the moms. Also, the dads were all really tough looking, and Nikki’s mom was a stay at home mom. I don’t see how the dichotomy between males and females will ever be erased if the media is constantly encouraging it.

All in all this is a show that I would be lying if I said I had never watched before. The thing is, when I watched it this time with a critical eye, I saw how many wrong things it is encouraging and instilling in people. It isn’t a show that young teens should be growing up watching.

Comments

do you know what song was playing at nikki's sweet sixteen when everyone was on the dancefloor? i think it was like a techno song? i can't find t anywhere:(
please help

do you know what song was playing at nikki's sweet sixteen when everyone was on the dancefloor? i think it was like a techno song? i can't find t anywhere:(
please help

What song was he performing when they played it on TV?
I cant figure it out!