Sunday, January 07, 2007

Teeny Boppers

It's been a long time since I have written here. It's a whole new year in fact--2007. Take a bit of inertia, add a glob of job exhaustion, and then mix them both with a little fear. I'm back though, at least for a while.

And you know what has inspired me to blog again? A stupid television commercial--a stupid television commercial for a breakfast cereal no less.

Said commercial is for Total cereal and involves a teenage girl and mom. Girl borrows her mother's "vintage" jeans from some unknown past era. Girl wears the jeans a lot and looks good in them. Mom gets jealous because daughter looks good in jeans (um, hello? Your 16 year daughter is SUPPOSED to look better than the 45 year old you--that's called the cycle of life), and starts obsessively eating Total cereal every morning.

It seems mom starts eating Total cereal at the expensive of good parenting. We watch her passively let her daughter walk in and out of the kitchen day after day with different boyfriends (in the MORNING!), hair styles, and outfits, but always wearing those jeans. Mom only has eyes for her 100 calorie serving of Total cereal--and for one upping her daughter it seems.

Finally, the day arrives. Mom has eaten so many bowls of Total cereal that she can now get her new and improved "Mom butt" into those jeans again. She smuggly tells her daughter that she wants them back, and the last scene shows her bouncing down the stairs, hair in ponytail, t-shirt on, and wearing of course, those jeans. All she needs is some bubble gum to complete the teeny bopper picture.

I know I sound old and decrepit saying this, but parents are supposed to be parents. They are not supposed to be their children's best friend or co-conspirator, and certainly not their competition. They are the parents. They make rules, they set boundaries, and they care if their teenage daughter wanders up to her bedroom with a variety of sketchy looking teenage boys!

Parents and people over 30 are not supposed to try to look like they are 15. It may be tempting, but it is unbecoming. I thought for a brief moment that some of the more current teenage wannabe fashion trends were fading. Audrey Hepburn's image starting showing up in Gap ads, waists got a little higher on pants, and layering and structure showed up in clothes again. It seemed that it was beginning to be cool again to act your age.

I'm not so sure now. If Total cereal is trying to appeal to the typical American consumer, I take this ad as a very bad sign. I pity the poor teenage girls trying to navigate the world these days. And I think I pity the poor moms even more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the obnoxious song being played in background as Mom struts down the front steps of her apartment building? Something about "give me one more chance."

In any event, it illustrates just how she became a single mom in the first place.

2:08 AM  
Blogger James1955 said...

No, not a "snigle mom" as anonymous says - but a housewife dutifully eating her cereal after her husband has gone to work! I actually find the commercial wildly sexy. That competition for men between the generations - and the ad makes CLEAR that being slim enough to wear those jeans gets you men - is wildly erotic.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Jann said...

You seem to be forgetting that these are the mother's jeans and not the daughters, and she has every right to take her jeans back. And she looks good in them too. I am the mother of two grown daughter; I can still fit into my jeans from the 1970's, some of which have come back into style. When my daughters were teenagers they used to wear my clothes (the ones they didn't think were "too matronly,") vintage or otherwise, sometimes without permission, even thought they had the right to do this. I totally loved this ad - one of my favorites.

2:54 PM  

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