Merchants of Cool:
Teens and Sexuality
Teenagers are bombarded with images and ideas of sex in the media. However the advertising industries claim that teenagers were already obsessed with sex before the images were plastered all over their world. The industry also claims that they develop their advertising around what the teens enjoy and that they've researched teen lives, culture and their way of thinking in order to obtain the most successful advertising method. "We're only reflecting the real world. Sex is a part of teen's lives, so it better be in their media, too." (Narr. in Merchants of Cool). Did the teens develop the pop culture first, or did the media hype teen sexuality and therefore make it pop culture? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I'll be arguing that although teens may have always had a sexual appetite and were the ones that fed on the sexually hyped shows, the media had a snowballing effect to the point of increasing and encouraging sexual behavior in teens, and still does today. Teens play the biggest part in the film industry. It's no wonder most films out these days are so sexual and violent; it's because that's what the industries believe teens are looking for. Once a story line has been done, it gets boring, and no one pays to see a boring film. The only way to spice things up is with a little violence or sex, right? Spicing things up is exactly what director Neal Moritz is all about. He says "I really want to push the envelope in my movies. Because to me, if you're making the same thing everyone else is making, then you don't have much chance of getting people to come to your movies..." Neal pushes boundaries and keeps the tension high in all of his movies both sexually and graphically violent, keeping his teens hooked. Audiences and critics have put him under "intense scrutiny" (Narr. in Merchants of Cool), however, because they argue that teens should not be exposed to that level of sex and violence. This is exactly the...
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