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One mom’s reason for keeping an Oscar-free home

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype


I’ve never been a huge fan of awards shows. When I was a kid I found them excruciatingly lengthy and boring (the same reaction I have always had to televised parades), and as an adult I’m usually lost after the first five minutes. I recognize only a small number of the actors, directors and other industry professionals, and have usually seen only a handful of the films that will be honored during the show. The combination of this awards-show aversion, plus our family’s Roku-only lifestyle, meant that there were no Oscars in my living room last night. But I’ve found myself wondering, as I read some of the post-Oscar reactions and commentary today, how my girls would have reacted to the awards, and what they would have learned about the way our culture reveres beauty over almost everything else.

Are awards shows inherently bad for kids to watch? Probably not. But I think the danger with the entertainment industry is that these types of events perfectly illustrate the value our society places on beauty, and how it blatantly outweighs, almost without exception, the value we place on skill, natural talent, and effort.

This being said, I do acknowledge that my lack of experience with awards shows such as the Oscars doesn’t put me in the best position to judge their merits. So I invite you, fellow moms, to share your thoughts on the subject. Did you watch the Oscars with your children? If so, I’m curious: What values, if any, do you feel your children learned from the awards? How did you discuss these values with your kids?

If you did not watch the Oscars with your children, why not?

I look forward to your comments!

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4 comments so far...

  • Ah, we love watching them, as silly as they are. We talk about the ridiculousness of expectation, we talk about what jokes cross a line, we draw pictures of the dresses we like the best, and we eat nachos and ice cream. I read somewhere that the Oscars are the Super Bowl for drama geeks, and that’s EXACTLY what it is at our house, no more, no less!

    Jenn  |  February 25th, 2013 at 1:37 pm

  • Jenn, I think you’ve nailed it: Talking through the jokes, expectations, and other issues with your kids can be a valuable experience for all of you. I think that’s such a great way to put a positive spin on a show that could so easily be taken out of context by our young, impressionable kiddos.

    Karli  |  February 25th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

  • We watch a lot of award shows (and televised parades!) and as much of a waste of time as they can be, they’re entertaining. We talk about how fair they are/aren’t in their selection, root for our favorite films and actors, praise the sincere acceptance speeches and call out the fake and unappreciative ones. We’re big fans of movies and it’s great to see people being recognized for doing a great job. All the other things that go with it (jokes in bad taste, over the top price tags, the surgically enhanced beauty, etc.) are just on the side and while we discuss them, they don’t take away from our love of seeing our favorites win! It’s one thing to plop a kid in front of the TV and go about your business, it’s another to have a family night with some nachos and cuddles and have some QT time.

    To answer your question about what values children learn from the awards: that no matter how good you are at what you do, you have to be grateful to those who made it possible, you have to always recognize and thank your family, you have to have humor and not everybody is perfect (best actress winner took a bad tumble on the steps and was so cute about it!), that you can grow up and age gracefully, that eloquence is classy, that competition can be healthy and how to lose gracefully, etc.

    Now those red carpet segments before/after the ceremonies, we never watch those.

    tabi  |  February 25th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

  • Tabi, I loved what you said about turning it into some great conversation and QT time.

    And what great comments about the lessons/values they can learn! Brilliant. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Karli  |  February 25th, 2013 at 5:23 pm