Movies could be one of the strongest influences on young minds in the 21st century, if not the most. With movie titles like 10 Rules for Sleeping Around, Three Night Stand and Knocked Up, it's no surprise our world is falling deeper and deeper into self-destruction. Young women are a huge target audience that studios want to hit, and the amount of deception that they feed growing girls is absolutely shocking. Here are five common, false messages that young girls are falling prey to and need to fight against.
1. Outward Beauty is What Matters
Beauty is something that little girls are taught at such a young age, and it sticks with them throughout their teenage and adult years. Watching any beauty product commercial between TV shows, pushing a beauty standard few can actually hold up to impacts young women more than we like to admit.
When thinking about how beauty is portrayed in movies, a movie that quickly comes to mind is The Devil Wears Prada. Even the name itself speaks volumes. This movie is centered around two women who play this tug-of-war with each other in the fashion world. One is the symbol of all things beauty, glamor, fame and riches. The other portrays a more down-to-Earth, natural beauty—one which comes from the heart and shines from the inside out. Although the second character falls victim to the fashion world, she eventually returns to her roots.
The lie falls with the first character; the one that got all her power and fame from her outward appearance and puts all her worth and importance into that. Proverbs 31:30 talks about where real praise and value lies in a woman: "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Mark 8:36-37 also shines some light on the dangers of giving in to such lies and temptations: "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" We need to fight for our young girls and raise them up with their eyes fixed on God and not solely in the mirror.
2. Bullying is Funny
Somewhere along the line, young girls started to believe that bullying, fighting and tearing other girls down was an okay and acceptable thing to do. From the teasing of clothes and makeup, to arguments that lead to physical fights, girls have been against each other for decades now.
Movie influences that have given the "okay" on this destructive behavior are ones like The Duff, Bridesmaids and Mean Girls, all of which portray young teenage girls or adults using words, labels, punches and anything necessary to get their vicious, damaging message across to other girls.
Proverbs 31:26 gives a clear picture of how a lady should speak and act, saying, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the teaching of kindness." Matthew 5:43-44 gives a much more general view of loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. These are the actions that should be taught to the young girls that are growing up to be the young women of this world.
3. Having Romantic Fantasies is Good
In a world consumed with love, relationships and fantasy, it is easy for little girls to start believing the lie that a man, or people in general, will be able to fulfill that hole in the heart that truly belongs to God. Girls are convinced that getting attention and being loved by the "perfect guy" is the only thing that will give them worth in this world.
The Twilight Saga is a series of movies that captures this corrupted mentality quite well. The story follows the relationship between two teenagers and their twisted journey in finding love and being together forever. Even so, the amount of emphasis on infatuation, love and being with the most "perfect guy" is so huge that it is easy for a young girl's mind to slip into that fantasy of only wanting that type of attention in life.
The Bible is very clear about where our love, heart and focus should lie: on God. Deuteronomy 6:5 begins to paint this picture by saying, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might," and Colossians 3:2 continues with "Set[ing] your affection on things above, not on things on earth." Finally, 1 Corinthians 13 gives a detailed description of what real love actually looks like, rather than this fantasy that our young girls have given into.
4. The Heavy Drinking Lifestyle is Worth Trying
Drinking and partying have always been things that attract many teenagers, young adults and adults. Even though the act of drinking alcohol itself is not bad or a sin, it can be taken out of context and abused very easily in party situations. This is where the danger and lies begin to erode the moral foundation.
The movie Trainwreck is a perfect example of this lie that is being portrayed to teenagers, but specifically to young women. This movie is centered around a woman who was taught not to believe in monogamy as a child, which in turn leads her to excessive drinking, lots of partying and many one-night stands with men she doesn't know in her real adult life. Even though the main character learns an important life lesson at the end, the positive and "fun" portrayal of her drunken stupor in 80 percent of the movie entices many young people, even those who only end up seeing the trailers.
Add to the list the upcoming movie How to be Single, which encourages women to use their bodies as a means to get free drinks at bars. The message is demeaning, dangerous and opens up a world that is purely destructive.
Ephesians 5:18 simply says this about drinking: "Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit." Galatians 5:21 talks about this crazy lifestyle in general saying, "Envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." These are serious matters that God does not take lightly, and neither should we as we teach our young girls about such things.
5. Sex Before Marriage is Worth It
While this last point could be the most obvious one, the lies many movies are telling about sex is causing a world of confusion for young girls, especially for the ones struggling with what their identity is.
This is most evident in the mere fact that Fifty Shades of Grey, a blockbuster erotica, created so much buzz and drew so much curiosity from women that it grossed $570 million worldwide. Besides the movie's disgusting glorification of sexual violence, the story of a man seducing a young virgin into his sick, sexual world has, as numerous studies show, detrimental effects on both young women and men.
The Bible is very clear that sex is actually a very good and beautiful thing that God Himself created for a husband and wife to enjoy in the boundaries of marriage. However, the evilness of the world has decided to abuse that gift, and through many of these movies, that gift is being destroyed for many if not most teenagers. Sexual immorality is something that the Bible warns against in 1 Corinthians 6:18, saying, "Escape from sexual immorality. Every sin that a man commits is outside the body. But he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." Colossians 3:5 also says "Therefore put to death the parts of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." We should be teaching our young girls the importance of sex inside the contexts of marriage and that waiting for that special gift is when the true beauty of intimacy buds.
All of these lies are bombarding young women, who are falling prey to them. While God is full of forgiveness, and His grace can redeem from any sin, we can help protect our young girls from a lot of pain and from being enticed into the world by teaching them Biblical principles and responses and protecting them from media that attacks those principles.
This article originally appeared on movieguide.org.
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