EUGENE, Ore. -- Mother's here in the Eugene area say "Thanksgiving will only make things worse," becuase they are "not connecting with their teenage daughters" due to the huge amount of time teens spend online and wired into their smartphones.
"There are a host of problems with parent and teen relationships these days. But, I'm especuially not looking forward to Thanksgiving and the holidays becuase my teen daughter will not help me in the kitchen due to such time with 'mom' will take her away from Tweets and other wired 'connections' with her so-called Facebook friends. I will tell you, it's a mess with the generation gap these days thanks to life in cyberspace being much more interesting for our teens than real life helping mom," explains Eugene mother Elizabeth who frequently speaks about parent-teen issues at local PTA meetings.
In turn, Elizabeth's daughter, Sue, says "mom gets all excited. Yes, I will help her on Thanksgiving."
Mother’s hate their teenage daughters as art imitates real life in new sitcom
Take the angst that Kate Middleton supposedly feels for her mother-in-law Camilla Parker Bowles, and then add the envy of older women who wish Justin Timberlake was taking them to a ball; add actress Jamie Pressly of “My Name is Earl” as the “mother,” and Fox thinks it has the makings for a hit comedy titled “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”
A group of grandmothers and great-grandmothers at a senior home in nearby Florence recently watched a commercial for the new Fox comedy situation comedy “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” and exclaimed they were “socked at such a title for a family TV program.”
For instance, 90-something Gladys says– while she swivels her blue eyes upward -- “it sounds horrid. What’s it come to that we hate our daughters?” In turn, Gladys relates that her relationship with her mother – back in the 1920s when her family moved from England – was “what you call, dysfunctional, but she had a lot of unhappiness because of the war (World War I), and she depended upon me to be strong for her. I loved my mother, and would never think that she hated me or I hated her. Hate is such a strong word to use.”
Fox jumps on the “hate” bandwagon that’s popular on its political talk shows
However, with a world today in 2011 desensitized to even the word “hate,” Fox is hoping that today’s insecure and unhappy mothers and daughters will flock to their TV sets and watch how women – both young and old – can make comedy out of being inadequate, incapable, helpless and generally unhappy and hateful to each other; all in the name of art.
This new Fox comedy sitcom, “I Hate My Teenage Daughter, is set to premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 30, with a 9:30 p.m. airing on the East coast. Fox TV officials also noted it will run in the timeslot after the “X-Factor, and the series – about mothers who hate their teen daughters, and teenagers who hate their mothers – “will possibly move to Tuesday nights when the hit show ‘Glee’ is on hiatus.”
According to a Fox press release, the show “will follow two mothers who fear their daughters are turning into the kind of girls who tormented them in high school.”
While the show is aimed at poking teenage girl bullies in the eye for their hatful behavior, a social scientist who reviewed the pilot episode noted how the thesis for the show is badly flawed because of canned TV laughter that accompanies “each hateful thing the mothers and daughters do to one another, as not being funny but very sad.”
Moreover, the plot has a mother named Annie Watson (Jaime Pressly), who grew up in an “ultra-strict conservative family,” who being to notice that “she has allowed her daughter Sophie (Kristi Lauren) to do what she wants to do, which she takes advantage of by embarrassing and mocking her mother.”
Kate Middleton controversy stirs with rumors of cat fights with Royals
While such “hate” between a mother and daughter in the new Fox comedy “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” may sound crazy and over the top for some American TV viewers, real life does seem to imitate “art” when it comes to such things as the Royal Family in England.
Rumors about Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, are flying all around England right now with regular updates that Kate “is not fighting with her mother-in-law.”
For instance, Internal Business Times recently noted that “Kate Middleton is at war with mother-in-law Camilla,” while stv.tv reported Oct. 11 ‘that “Kate has become fed up with the Duchess of Cornwall and badmouthing her.”
The subject of Kate’s mother-in-law CamillaParkerBowles is also a cover story in a recent edition of the Sydney Morning Herald that states “the demise of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage is set to be the subject of a new film” with the details about Bowles having to do with the break-up of the marriage of Diana and Charles who is now married to Bowles who was his lover when cheating on the late Lady Di. While there were “real cat fights” between Lady Di and Parker Bowles, there’s been recent peace with Prince William having to “break them apart.”
Meanwhile, Royal insiders say there’s real pressure on Kate to be the perfect princess, with Parker Bowles wanting her own time in the sun as queen when her husband Prince Charles is crowned king.
“With the royal tutorials she's going through, the social errands she has to attend, and the pressure of producing an heir, how is Kate Middleton holding up,” asked International Business Times while pointing to a recent report by Celebs Gather, that “the Duchess of Cambridge has been tagged as a ‘Princess Under Pressure’ because of the emotional stress she is apparently going through upon joining the royal family. The 29-year-old Kate is now in training to be queen one day.”
Women today have ‘twisted sisterhoods’ in a dark legacy of female friendships
While the premise of a TV show about mothers hating their daughters may sound somewhat strange, women in nearby Eugene have admitted how older and younger women have a “twisted sisterhood” consisting of a “dark legacy of female friendships”—that, in turn, produced unhealthy mental health woes for both women and others who are impacted by them.
“You know all about the trouble with ‘mean girls’ and competitive, judgmental women,” writes Kelly Valen in a new book ‘The Twisted Sisterhood: Unraveling The Dark Legacy of Female Friendships.’ that’s circulating around college campuses this summer reading season. One University of Oregon student noted that Valen – a lawyer who earned her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, where she was executive editor of the Law Review – comes off “too focused on professional young women’s issues. But then again, I’m not sure how my mother dealt with her problems with mean spirited women,” says Barb. In turn, Valen is “calling for a new normal in our friendships with women,” claiming there is real mental health concerns at stake for women today if they don’t come to peace with both themselves and other women they hurt.
Also, in the book’s overview, it states that “an overwhelming majority of women – including mothers and daughters say they have endured serious, life-altering knocks from other females, and a solid 97 percent of those polled believe it is crucial that we improve the female culture in this country.”
Valen states in “The Twisted Sisterhood” that it starts in high school
As with the premise for the new Fox sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” that presents a mother who had issues with bullies in high school, so too is this an issue in real life, say Valen in her book.
“Maybe you had a cruel high school experience straight out of the movie ‘Carrie.’ Maybe you find yourself anxious because your daughter’s peers are excluding her. Maybe you’ve been harassed or marginalized by other females for being something they were or are not: fact, acne-prone, brainy, a different religion, too pretty, overconfident, a different kind of mother,” writes Valen in her book’s thesis on why many women today have a “twisted sisterhood,” when it comes to female relationships.
Of course, men who’ve been asked about the book and its argument that females hassle each other in their relationships, respond with: “I won’t go there.”
“The Twisted Sisterhood exposes the hidden, enduring and widespread fallout of our manipulations and highlights our residual undercurrent of distrust,” Valen adds with numerous examples of how older women mess about with younger women via these “manipulations” and how this all impacts men in their lives.
America’s teen girls starving themselves to stay thin
In turn, another spotlight for the new Fox TV sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” looks at things from the daughter’s point of view, after being told “what it means to be a daughter and a woman” in what social scientists call “a strange sort of American tradition where girls go into somebody training at the direction of their mothers who tell them how to live their lives. Of course, the teens reject their mothers.”
It’s no secret that more than 500,000 American teens have eating disorders, say experts who also point to their personal relationships with other women as one area of study to find the answers to this serious health problem.
For instance, the view that thin is good was shared on the recent MSNBC report with the following comments: “Awesome post, she’s so thin, she looks amazing,” wrote one commenter after a string of Kate Middleton photos were posted on a site devoted to thinspiration. On another popular pro-ana forum, one user lists Kate Middleton as No. 2 on her top 10 thinspiration list, in between Beckham and Olsen. That Kate and Pippa are becoming thin-girl icons poses a potentially bigger threat as the pair is more than just style icons: They're role models.”
Moreover, health experts are warning that this is not just a fad.
“Every little girl at one time wants to be a princess, and these images will not only reach teenagers but middle and elementary schoolers,” said Jill M. Pollack, director of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia. She has been treating patients suffering from eating disorders for over 20 years. “To have the Middleton sisters [on pro-ana sites] is like, oh my God, a disaster waiting to happen.”
“Recent tabloid reports have estimated Kate’s current weight at 95 pounds — and while there’s no evidence to support these claims, Pollack concedes that the Duchess's visible collar bones alone may be cause for alarm. ‘It’s not easy to starve yourself,’ Pollack says, ‘and [people suffering from eating disorders] look for thinspiration to lose weight,’” added the MSNBC TV program report while showing Duchess Kate looking very, very slim, added a commentator.
Overall, Valen notes in her new book “The Twisted Sisterhood” that women are complex beings and there’s nobody who can really figure out female relationships.
Girlhood threatened in America as female childhood being rushed, say experts
Another example of real life imitating “art,” is how this new Fox TV sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” attempts to keep the mother’s character focused on not growing up too fast while, it seems, the daughter is already grown-up and wants to do the same things as her mom – such as drinking every night, sleeping around with different men and giving up on marriage because her mom and her mom’s friends are all divorced.
As one reviewer said: “This I Hate My Teenage Daughter is not comedy, is pure hell.”
With one eye on the latest Barbie doll and the other on the latest mascara, Ellen is already at a social and physical crossroads and she’s only 11-year-old; thus, the issue facing many of America’s daughters today is an early end to their girlhood.
Blame it on TV or Internet. Blame it on parents. But, “padded bras and bikini tops for 7-and 8-year-olds are offered by retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Amazon.com,” reports the Christian Science Monitor. In turn, Ellen, age 11, asks her mother if the “crisp, clear and incomparably smooth” quality of an overpriced mascara is true; while the mother reluctantly, hating herself, drags out the credit card to pay for Ellen’s make-up. “What can I do? All her friends wear make-up,” quips the mother at Eugene’s River Valley Mall recently who said “all her friends post photos of themselves on Facebook in hopes someone will tell them they look pretty.”
Sexualized social messages are reaching ever-younger minds – think padded bras and mascara for 8-year-olds who first emulate princesses and the ‘hot stars,’ so what’s a girl’s parents to do,” asks the Christian Science Monitor in a recent investigation titled “Taking Back Girlhood,” that’s featured recently in the Monitor’s weekly magazine and now online at scmonitor.com.
Girls stuck in the social-feedback loop
“In any conversation about the sexualization of girls, the Internet is always mentioned as a huge new challenge. Not only does the Web allow easy – and often unwanted – access to sexual images (in terms of numbers of websites and views, porn is king of the Web), it offers a social-feedback loop that is heavy on appearance and superficiality, and low on values that scholars say might undermine sexualization, such as intelligence and compassion,” reports cs.monitor.com.
“Teens who post sexy pictures of themselves on Facebook, for instance, are rewarded with encouraging comments. She posts it on Facebook and gets 10 comments underneath it telling her how great her butt looks,” adds the Monitor investigation into what’s “pushing” young girls in America to act older.
Moreover, “teens are exposed to 14,000 sexual references on TV a year, on average. Girls 11 to 14 view nearly 500 advertisements a day, on average,” reports scmonitor.com in a recent investigation of the loss of “girlhood” in America today.
For instance, 110 styles of shoes with a 1 to 2-3/4-inch heel are sold for infants, toddlers and youth on Zappos.com.
In turn, mothers at a Eugene mall said they are “powerless” to stop what their daughters are “being fed over the Internet on a daily basis,” with many stating their “little girls” are more interested in becoming pop stars and realty TV show celebrities – who spend their days wanting more – than about future careers or having families.
Little girls pushed into becoming “little women” with nobody stopping it
The Christian Science Monitor recently used the full-force of the Internet’s ability to “search” issues surrounding female childhood being rushed, thanks to product marketing, school and social environments and parents who simply give in to the whims of their daughters.
Research shows that in 2011, American girlhood has been under siege due in part to:
- 18 percent of ages 8 to 12 use mascara; 15 percent use eyeliner. 33 percent of 12-year-old girls use foundation or concealer.
- 43 percent of girls ages 6 to 9 use lipstick or lip gloss; 38 percent use hairstyling products.
- Girls as young as 9 receive permanent hair removal to separate their eyebrows.
- 80 percent of girls ages 13 to 18 list shopping as their favorite hobby.
- Padded bras and bikini tops for 7-and 8-yer-olds are offered by retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Amazon.com.
- 81 percent of 10-year-old girls fear getting fat.
- 42 percent of 7-to9-year-old girls want to be thinner.
- 20 percent of 8-to-11 year old girls won’t share an opinion because they feel bad about their looks.
- Teens are exposed to 14,000 sexual references on TV a year, on average. Girls ages 11 to 14 view nearly 500 advertisements a day, on average.
- 110 styles of shoes with a 1 to 2-3/4-inch heel are sold for infants, toddlers and youth on Zappos.com.
- 4 million teen girls have visited a beauty spa.
Overall, the Monitor investigation into what’s driving America’s young girls to grow-up too quickly noted that “it’s hard to criticize a girl for delving into social media, for instance, when her parents are constantly checking their own iPhones.
In turn, the producers of the new Fox TV comedy sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” say the show pits mothers against their daughters “for entertainment?”