I love Pink. I particularly love how the anger that sometimes comes through her music fuels my workouts when I’m in that place. In fact, I think my thighs are a little smaller because of this very real and very gritty entertainer.
Perhaps it is because I have opted out of the whole parenting ride that I am completely appalled at something that happened at a Pink concert last week that has been getting a lot of positive attention from mommy bloggers. In the middle of her concert in Philadelphia, Pink stopped mid song (a really good one, mind you – “Who Knew”) to address a crying child in the audience.
To be clear from the start, I have no issue with Pink’s handling of the moment. It was human and lovely of her to reach out. But what seems much overlooked here is that this singer was so distracted by the distressed child that she stopped singing. How incredibly selfish is it to bring a child to this kind of event? Are you kidding me? If you can afford a ticket to see Pink, you can afford a babysitter.
And I’m only getting started.
The appeal of Pink is her authenticity. What comes through her music is that she loves deeply and rages wildly. And she’s vulgar. Sometimes I dig vulgar. A lyric from one of her most popular songs:
“Midnight I’m drunk I don’t give a fuck.”
I love this stuff cranking in my ears. I do. Makes me go faster on the bike. Pump the iron harder.
But is this appropriate for a child?
For those unfamiliar with Pink, the aforementioned line is from “U + Ur Hand” and the main verse goes like this:
I’m not here for your entertainment
You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
‘Cause you know it’s over
Before it began
Keep your drink, just give me the money
It’s just you and your hand tonight.
Look at that last line again. Are you explaining to your child as that refrain loops over and over that she’s telling some guy in a bar to get lost and go home and masturbate? What a fun theme to discuss over mac and cheese and chocolate milk after the show.
I wouldn’t be this worked up over one example of one parent exhibiting this kind of judgment. In fact, after a friend who was at the concert posted about it on Facebook, I expressed surprise there was a child there and moved on. But since then I’ve come across a few more mentions of it and the tone is always a kind of exultation at how Pink is a mommy, too. I have come across actual conversations where one person after another thinks it’s just peachy to share this kind of experience with a kid.
Yes, Pink is a mother and used that sensibility to go out of her way to be kind in the moment when she could have just as easily embarrassed the parent in the middle of an arena. That is to be applauded.
But I saw one columnist who actually took it as a sign to reconsider leaving her kids home when she goes out to events like this. Please, mommy dearest, stick with your original gut feeling that it isn’t fair to you or the child or the people around you to take that kind of chance in a place of adult entertainment. To boot, there is plenty of time in later years to teach your child how to ward off unwanted advances.
In a welcome contrast to this idea of raising children who are three-going-on-25, there is a piece circulating social media right now that is a letter written by a father to Victoria’s Secret. It beautifully and intelligently addresses the company’s new line aimed at middle school girls.
“The line will be called ‘Bright Young Things’ and will feature ‘lace black cheeksters’ with the word ‘Wild’ emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with ‘Feeling Lucky?’ and a lace trim thong with the words, ‘Call me on the front,” Rev. Evan Dolive writes. “As a dad, this makes me sick.”
As well it should. I see so many of the parents in my life struggling with these issues regularly. Sexy clothes aimed at 8-year-olds. Sexy pop culture choices. It’s troubling. The demand has to be coming from parents, though. A power like Victoria’s Secret wouldn’t be churning out these kinds of garments if they weren’t sure they were meeting a demand. Those panties will sell. The comments on Dolive’s piece suggest as much.
He goes on to write, “I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence. Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League School? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves … not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a ‘call me’ thong?”
Of course for some girls the inevitable question might be, “Mommy, can I wear my new Victoria’s Secret thong to the Pink concert?”