This month marks the two-year anniversary of the premiere of the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. And if the first movie wasn’t graphic enough for you, the sequel that premiered this month, Fifty Shades Darker, should do the trick. That is, if you’re old enough to watch an R-rated movie and not a 13-year-old girl like the young lady below who mentioned in class one day that she had seen it.
If you know me at all, you know I wasn’t about to let this little revelation go without me engaging her further.
Me: You saw Fifty Shades of Grey?!?!!?!?!?
Me: Isn’t that movie rated R? How did you get to see it?
Her: If you buy your tickets online, they don’t check it when you give them your ticket.
Me: How did you buy the ticket online if you aren’t old enough to have a credit card?
Her: My mom bought the ticket.
Me: Your MOM took you to see Fifty Shades of Grey?!?!?!
Her: NO, she didn’t go with me. She just bought the tickets for me and my friends to go see it.
I was so shocked to hear the young lady above talking so nonchalantly about watching Fifty Shades of Grey, that it made me wonder how many of the other 8th grade girls had also seen the movie. So, I asked the question in all the other classes as well. In every class, at least 25-30% of the class had seen the movie.
Some of the girls told me they had read the book and it was even more graphic than the movie. You should have seen the teachers’ eyes when the girls revealed they had seen the movie and/or read the book. They were just as shocked and saddened as I was.
If you recall, the movie was very controversial when it first came out. While some complained that it was nothing more than soft porn, others thought it was relatively harmless.
Still, at the time I couldn’t imagine any mother believing Fifty Shades of Grey was appropriate for 13-year-old girls to see. Clearly, I was wrong in my assumptions. And the young lady’s mother was wrong in her actions.
First Do. No. Harm!
I’m sure the girl’s mother meant no harm by purchasing the tickets for her daughter and her friends, but Fifty Shades of Grey was anything but harmless as I explain in my open letter below.
To the mother of the girl who bought tickets for her daughter and her friends to see Fifty Shades of Grey (and any other mothers out there who would have done the same), this is what I want you to know:
- Your daughter’s brain is not fully developed. The portion of the brain that associates consequences with choices, the pre-frontal cortex, won’t fully develop until her early to mid-twenties. During her teen years, she needs you to protect her from making decisions that are harmful to her health and future until she has the foresight to make those decisions for herself.
- What your daughter feeds herself through her ear and eye gates will have a big impact on how difficult it will be for her to stay away from sex during her teen years. Your daughter is going to have to fight hard enough to manage her hormones during her teen years. She doesn’t need an endless loop of visuals etched in her brain of what she’s missing out on to boot.
Get Friends’ Parents on the Same Page
A couple of things for all parents to consider:
- You can’t assume that the parents of your daughter’s friends have the same values/standards as you do. That’s why it’s even more important that you limit the amount of time that she spends in her friends’ homes.
- It would be a good idea for you to meet the parents of your daughter’s friends and let them know what your daughter is and isn’t allowed to do and see, plus where she is and isn’t allowed to go.
Some will read this post and think I’m exaggerating the potential “dangers” in allowing teens to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. But let me put it this way. Movies like Fifty Shades of Grey are what marijuana can become to your teen should she dabble in it – a potential gateway to more highly addictive behavior that’s not so easy to quit.
Don’t believe me? Check out an excerpt from a letter I received from a young lady:
I have had twenty-six sexual partners. I have been called many names, but ratchet and thirsty is what I hear the most. I wish I could stop, but I think I’m addicted to sex. Every night it’s what I think about.
~High School Senior
Do you really want to take the chance of this happening to your daughter?