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Violent Billboard Is Killing Me

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Should my kid be subjected to images of random violence on her way to school?


Momlogic's Momstrosity
: When it comes to shielding my kid from the ugliness of the adult world, I've resigned myself to the fact that billboards using sex to sell everything from shoes to toasters riddle my town. But as a relatively new mom, I object to the sign pollution that employs blood and gore to sell its wares.

Driving my 3-year-old to school, a giant advert for the new season of the Showtime series "Dexter" (forensics analyst by day, serial killer by night) loomed in the distance. I realize the intent of the ad is supposed to be ambiguous. Is it blood or juice dripping over Dad and baby? But my kid wasn't confused.

Kid: Why is that man covered in blood?

Mom: It's not blood. It's juice from the baby's sippy cup.

Kid: No, mom, it's blood. Why is he covered with blood?!

The whole exchange gave me the creeps. I'd much rather explain why semi-naked models are draped over a pedestal sink in a home improvement ad than try to explain murder. My kid, at least for now, only watches family-friendly television. Why should she be subjected to the frightening world of TV drama on her way to school?

next: Implanted with the Wrong Embryos
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
rene guerreru September 21, 2009, 11:39 AM

You could be smart by telling her it’s an ad for an adult tv show instead of trying to neuter all of society to fit your breeder lifestyle. That was YOUR choice, not ours.

Mandamus September 21, 2009, 11:43 AM

For someone to see the blood imagery in that picture they would have to first be familiar with or had exposure to that kind of imagery beforehand to be able to differentiate it from the obvious implied juice stains. So what are you teaching your kid? Or did you make the whole thing up? Which’ll it be? Bad parent? or liar?

Robin September 21, 2009, 11:53 AM

You could always put a blindfold on your child for the drive to/from school.

Anonymous September 21, 2009, 11:56 AM

Mandamus “implied juice stains??” I agree with momstros juice don’t stain like that.

Lisa S September 21, 2009, 12:07 PM

Most 3 year olds would be looking at the cute baby in the picture. They also would not insist on blood being on the people, especially with a sippy cup with red juice in it. Only if you watch the show would you know what the picture is about.

brittany dottolo September 21, 2009, 12:12 PM

my twins thought it was juice on him- had no idea- BUT I OBJECT to this ad- it is disgraceful!

Tess September 21, 2009, 12:38 PM

Jesus Christ you’re pathetic.

Anonymous September 21, 2009, 12:54 PM

I agree most this ad would be over most kids heads…just a dad, baby and juice…but I wonder if the Dexter people took too much for granted. Did they run the ad by anyone in formative education? My guess is no. I’m also sure it’s easy enough to convince kids it’s just juice…but should we have to lie? I guess it’s the Dexter people’s job to push the envelope or they would make a different show. I guess there’s a lot of double entendre that goes over kids heads, but what about when it doesn’t? It’s probably an age-old question for parents.

Anonymous September 21, 2009, 1:06 PM

Hmmm, I may ask my twin four year olds what they think it is… My guess is that they’ll say juice.

maeby September 21, 2009, 1:41 PM

oh get over it. its just an ad. talk to your kids, thats all you CAN do. imagine?! making them understand things instead of making them grow up to be ignorant and judgmental?! THATS CRAZY!!

Guest September 21, 2009, 1:53 PM

i say give them the facts before it’s too late. children learn every moment of the day. if you over protect, they will soon learn to disrespect and disregard you because they learned everything everywhere else and find you know very little. you lie to them or try to paint a prettier picture for them, they will just end up being laughed at in school when they compare stories and knowledge.

Murray September 21, 2009, 1:55 PM

I agree with maeby, also- if you can’t handle this billboard what more of when your daughter gets her period. Are you gonna say that’s juice too? What about sex education? Are you gonna lie too?
“Mommy, why is there blood on that man”
YOur response? “don’t look at that.”

Anon September 21, 2009, 2:35 PM

You are acting like a child.

K September 21, 2009, 3:05 PM

Why are you more comfortable explaining sexual imagery to your child versus violence?

BW September 21, 2009, 4:06 PM

Yes, I can see how it would be confusing. It’s juice, but it’s made to look like blood. (However, I think only a Dexter fan would know this.) Just keep reiterating that it’s juice and be done with it. Say, “yes, it looks kind of like blood, but it’s just juice”. And don’t make a big deal of it. The second you make a big deal of something, kids know something is up.

P.S. I’d rather my kid see this billboard than anything having to do with sex.

BW September 21, 2009, 4:09 PM

Well, cripes, I wouldn’t be so rude as to call you pathetic. Especially since most stuff on the internet is designed to get a rise out of people, and often is not the actual opinion of the poster. Some mega internet noobs on here…

Nickelbackgirl September 21, 2009, 5:04 PM

I for one couldn’t agree with you more. We need to keep all of that trash out of the plain view of children. If the television show is rated for adults then the billboard promoting the show shouldn’t be shown for everyone. Same with the movies. If I go into the theater to see Toy Story 3 or UP and I am taking my 4 yr old twin sisters with me, I do NOT want them to see a preview for Jennifers Body. Even if the preview is rated for everyone. The movie is not. The movie is dark and the child/children will be able to sense that. Same with the billboard. Even though they are trying to cover it up with “juice” the kid isn’t stupid.

Anyways! To answer your question I would tell your child that you do not know why it is blood on the billboard, and that it must be a nasty show.

What is the world coming too these days.

Anonymous September 21, 2009, 5:39 PM

I showed this to my five-year-old. All he did was say “Aww, what a cute little baby.” Since he didn’t seem to notice, I asked him what he thought was on the man’s head and he said juice from the baby’s cup.

In fact, I wouldn’t even have given this ad a second glance to ponder the possibilities of what’s on his face if I didn’t know what the show was about.

Jenni September 22, 2009, 8:27 AM

I think these articles are just written to stir people up, which is silly. If this interaction REALLY happened between the author and her child I probably would have just said “I don’t know. It’s just an ad for some show.” and left it at that.

Lynne September 28, 2009, 9:30 PM

IT is not actually blood. It says on the commercial he is cleaning up a new kind of mess…and shows him feeding the baby baby food. There is baby food that looks that way.

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