Aug 29, 2013

Kidz Bop: Teaching Kids Homophobia since 2000

Have you seen those commercials for Kidz Bop?  They're an ever-changing group of preteens who have been covering contemporary pop songs in albums sold via tv commercials and box stores.  For instance, Kidz Bop 24, released in July 2013, contains covers of:

"Come and Get It," by Selena Gomez: "Come and get it, it's an open invitation"
"I Knew You Were Trouble," by Taylor Swift.  "I knew you were trouble when you walked in."
"Mirrors," by Justin Timberlake. "I don't want to lose you now, I'm looking at the other half of me."

That is, the entire romantic mythos of unbrindled desire, searching for The One, falling in love with unbrindled joy, Finding The One, suspicion, unfaithfulness, breaking up, aching with grief, moving on, and lots of sex, all distilled and prepackaged and ready for the indoctrination of 10-year olds.  And, of course, loaded down with girls singing "boy! boy! boy!" and boys singing "girl! girl! girl!," doggedly, emphatically proclaiming that everyone in the world is heterosexual.

They did perform Lady Gaga's gay anthem "Born This Way," but deleted any reference to gay people, in a move that has been criticized as homophobic.   Don't want kids to know that the song is about LGBT acceptance!   Don't want gay kids to exist, period!

I hate everything about those commercials.

But the albums are really popular among kids and their parents, whoever is scouring the music racks at Wal-Mart.  The Kidz Bop Kids go on world tours.  They have a website with 900,000 registered users (plus, for some reason, a shirtless picture of Cody Simpson), plus a radio program, an X-Factor-like talent show, and a series of books, including novelizations and the how-to guide Be a Pop Star!

Kidz Bop Kids retire at age 15, but some have been grabbed up by kids' tv:: Ross Lynch (top photo), Keke Palmer (True Jackson VP), Noah Munck (ICarly), Jake Short (ANT Farm).  Most have faded away.

The current crop includes 3 girls and 2 boys: Steffan Argus (left) and Elijah Johnson (right). Both of whom are presumably heterosexual.

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