Public outcry used to be on a much lower volume in the past than it has become today. Sure, a lot of it has to do with how open conversation has become with the onslaught of technology and social media. I've often been guilty of using my phone to document the street crimes in fashion (leggings so see through you can point out the pattern on the underwear!) or just ludicrous (man using resistance bands at the crosswalk to exercise topless?) and sending them straight to Twitter or Facebook to get a jury's verdict.
When something on television or in a magazine used to rub a person the wrong way, they would take to writing a letter, or trying to go to the news. Now? All they need to do is send an e-mail or post a tweet. Depending on how many people sympathize, a "shake my head" moment can snowball into public outrage in half a day.
The day Katy Perry dared to don a camisole on Sesame Street to do her Sesame version of Hot N Cold parents threw up their hands in protest, unhappy with that much skin being available for their toddlers to see. Maybe it's because my parenting days are still ahead of me, but I saw nothing of the x rated fashion on the clip, and thought the parentals were going overboard.
The parents weren't happy again, when the cast members of Glee did a shoot for GQ magazine, protesting that adults who played teenagers on a show shouldn't do provocative photo shoots, and neared it to pedophelia. One of the "guilty" parties, Dianna Agron took to her blog to offer an apology of sorts. She apologized if parents were offended by the shoot but asked why an eight year old would be holding a copy of the magazine. She also mentioned that the shoot didn't depict the "real" her, and that her dream shoot would involve dragons. I'm not always fond of the shoots men's magazines do with the members of the Hollywood interest of the moment, but I agree. Were the parents mad when Marge Simpson hit the covers of Playboy?
In a world where the youth is growing up too fast under incorrect management, everyone is afraid to mirror the mistakes that plagued Brittany, Lindsey, et al. The new teens and tweens are often either too eager to get more exposure by exposing themselves, or have staff with big eyes for money behind them, not interested in preserving the integrity of their youth. Miley Cyrus' new video Who Owns My Heart, and Taylor Momsen's Revolver magazine cover are just the biggest example of such in current day. Even Willow Smith didn't get a pass from the public, with critics saying she's better off starting her career later because young Hollywood is destined to burn if they start early.
The internet has made it possible for people to follow another's every step and action, and has given them the power to comment on the rights and wrongs of it right after. What used to be a slip up in an interview has become broader, and more along the lines of walking on egg shells.
It is human nature to make mistakes, but is it equally so to pass judgment? Throughout life we all make errors and learn from them. We're not all fortunate enough to have a million followers submitting feedback. But in the end, who is right? Does freedom of speech cover criticizing a star for weight gain, a young woman for discussing her sexuality, or a grown woman from posing in a sexy shoot?
Did the internet give society the remote control (emphasis on control) on the good vs. the bad, or has mankind gotten a little too sensitive?