America the Beautiful: Blames Media for Sexualizing America’s Youth

America+the+Beautiful%3A+Blames+Media+for+Sexualizing+America%27s+Youth

Jannelle Garcia

The porn industry, child beauty pageants, and the media were once again the painted culprits of twisting the younger generation’s view and approach to sex in the premiere of Darryl Roberts’ film, America the Beautiful 3: The Sexualization of Our Youth.

Darryl Roberts, former radio host and former host of the Chicago news program Hollywood Hype, is on tour promoting the latest addition to his controversial documentary series, America The Beautiful. All films focus on Roberts’ beliefs, the U.S’ obsession, exploitation, and distortion of beauty.

Around forty people filled the Fillmore’s Clay Theater earlier this month to watch Roberts’ latest film. Interviews with beauty pageant mothers explained why they dressed and showcased their scantily clad four-year-old daughters. Graphic behind the scenes of women working in porn showed the emotional and physical pain during sex scenes, and young women and men expressed their own sexual experiences and thoughts.

Roberts uses a variety of critiques and opinions to show that the U.S. media portrays sex in an unhealthy light, and aims that portrayal to children and teenagers. He speaks with therapists, psychologists, model agency representatives, and men and women in their early 20s.

One section of the film covers the porn industry and the culture surrounding it. The ease of access to adult films and clips on the internet creates an unrealistic expectation of women and demeaning view of women in young men.

A professor in the film says the goal of porn is to dehumanize and violate women, porn feeds into and cultivates rape culture, and when young men habitually view porn, they begin to objectify women and expect them to be sexual.

Roberts made a statement in the Q&A panel after the film, and said if there was less gonzo porn, a form of porn that focuses on the verbal and physical violation of women, there would be less rape.

Another part of the film displays the world of child beauty pageants and the defenses of mothers who put their daughters in that environment. One Georgia mother says she sees no problem with dressing her daughter up and letting her dance and sing in front of a panel and crowd. She says it is all fun and games, both for her and her child.  A former model who was interviewed says that pageants help build the foundation for self-esteem issues at a young age because they enforce and teach comparison.

America the Beautiful 3: The Sexualization of Our Youth covers many concepts that link to the media’s portrayal of sex to the objectification of women, and their self-esteem issues. But Roberts does not reveal anything new, he simply restates long held theories. He does, however, inspire a rise of awareness for sexual harassment.

“I thought it was just crazy just because, I mean I knew sexual harassment was happening, everyone knows it’s happening, but just the way the film was formatted, it just made it look like, ‘Oh my gosh, I could be sexually harassed,” says SF State student Olivia Foster, after watching the film.

The film aims to encourage a discussion between parents and children about sex, and to help youth establish what a healthy sexual relationship looks like before they are bombarded with different messages from the media.

“Nobody really knows what a healthy sexuality is and I would like to start the dialogue, especially for adults, for parents, the finding out what is a sexuality, like how can we present sex to the youth in a manner that empowers them, make them healthy, and help them to make right decisions so they don’t get in as much trouble,” says Roberts.