Last week Mamamia took to the road at Lend Lease shopping centres as part of Family Life Forum . The awesome line up of speakers (including Mia Freedman, Rebecca Sparrow, Paula Joye and Jo Lamble) has been further strengthened with the presence of Joanna McMillan who will address attendees in two of the forums in Victoria.

Joanna will cover the hot topic of food battles.  A growing number of kids are getting dangerously overweight and at the other end of the scale girls as young as five are now expressing a desire to be thin. Joanna will explore how parents can encourage kids to eat well while also helping them to foster a positive relationship with food and establish a healthy body image.

katy perry shaving cream bra1 380x289 Pop music versus porn. Where do you stand?

Katy Perry wearing a shaving cream bra. As you do. This sponsored post is brought to you by Lend Lease

But today we are battling video clips. Or rather trying to work out if there are any music videos that you would be happy for your kids to watch. Is there any music clip that you’d be happy to let your child watch unattended or even with you sitting next to them?  And I’m not talking about The Wiggles because at some stage all children will grow out of watching them (although no one in the family will ever forget the words. Ever.)

The leap from four men clapping and waving their hands in the air to the gyrating hips of the top 40 video hits covers a chasm.  So what is an appropriate music clip for children who have outgrown Hot Potato but aren’t yet allowed to watch soft porn, because well that’s what the current video hits seem to portray ?

Mike Stock, who was part of the legendary pop factory Stock, Aitken and Waterman, is well aware of the differences between potatoes and porn and he worries that our children are being sexualized by pop.

He asserts that it’s not about being old fashioned bur rather about keeping values that are important in the modern world.  ‘These days you can’t watch modern stars  – like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga  –  with a two-year-old” he says. ‘Ninety-nine per cent of the charts is R ‘n’ B and 99 per cent of that is soft pornography.’

‘Kids are being forced to grow up too young. Look at the videos. I wouldn’t necessarily want my young kids to watch them. ‘I would certainly be embarrassed to sit there with my mum.’

And it’s not that Mr Stock doesn’t know about pop music and even the creation of pop videos after all he was the man behind the rise of our very own Kylie in the late 1980s when she stormed the charts with I Should Be So Lucky.  In the accompanying music video Kylie wears a simple black cocktail dress.  The lyrics are innocent about love rather than sex.

You don’t see many dresses around in pop videos these days. Just think about it.  You see a lot of flesh, a lot of underwear and well, a lot more flesh.  But it’s not just about the attire, it’s the suggestive poses, the crude metaphors, the emulation of sex and the highly explicit and sexually advanced lyrics. Do you really want your child to be watching simulated sex acts as they eat their cornflakes before school in the morning?

In a recent article published in The Daily Mail Stock says that ‘Mothers of young children are worried because you can’t control the TV remote control.  Before children even step into school, they have all these images  –  the pop videos and computer games like Grand Theft Auto  –  confronting them and the parents can’t control it. Talking to mothers’ groups, they were saying that even they have lost faith in brands like Disney.

‘They were quite happy to put their kids in front of the telly to watch Hannah Montana but recently Miley Cyrus [who played Montana] has shown off her maturing body.’

As a result of these concerns, Stock has written and produced a new musical, called The Go! Go! Go! Show, which is playing in London.

He said: ‘It’s born out of my frustration with the way the music industry has gone.

‘We’ve written a family-orientated show. They [the mothers’ groups] have been telling me what they want  – and we have been trying to deliver it.’

Watch Mike Stock talking here

What rules do you have in your family in regards to watching music clips on TV or online? Do you know what your children are watching?

Family Life Forum Pop music versus porn. Where do you stand?You can hear Mia talking about the role of the pop star as a role model at some Family Life Forum events.  Click here to register for tickets . Also as a special promotion today, if you live in Queensland and are one of the first 100 people to email familylifeforum@lendlease.com  telling us which forum you would like to attend – Sunshine Plaza, Caneland Central and Cairns Central, we will reserve you a spot. But be quick, spots are limited due to strong demand and excellent feedback from the NSW forums.

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