Give explicit pop videos X-rating, says head

The Times is reporting that the headmistress who accused Miley Cyrus of damaging teenage girls with her raunchy new image has called for cinema-style ratings on sexually explicit pop videos…

Jo Heywood, of Heathfield School, Ascot, said no one was challenging the “shift” in boundaries over what was acceptable.

Warm words from David Cameron, who said he supported regulating explicit videos and lyrics, had not resulted in the progress parents want, she said…

Mrs Heywood said the result of increasingly explicit music videos was a shift in norms. “My fear is that when young girls, and young boys too, see these videos, they think that that is normal and that is the way they should be behaving. I know sex sells, but there has been a shift of what is considered normal. We need to call a halt,” she said.

“Risqué” used to be a Jilly Cooper novel or Madonna wearing a black bra under a white shirt, Mrs Heywood said. That all seems rather innocent compared with Miley Cyrus, who until recently played the guileless Hannah Montana in teen movies. In her latest video she appears naked astride a wrecking ball and licks the head of a hammer. Her now notorious twerking at the MTV awards caused a furore.

Rihanna appears to be competing with her, accompanying her latest single with a pole-dancing video.

Mrs Heywood, who has three daughters, said she tried to confront the problem at her £30,000-a-year school by inviting inspirational women to talk to her pupils about their lives.

“We need to give girls an alternative view of the world, where success is not based on appearance and handed to you on a plate, but comes from hard work and resilience,” she said…

Mrs Heywood said she shared parents’ fears about new technology and the way it forced the pace of relationships. “There is no time for reflection. When we were younger and you wanted to send someone a picture you have to take it and wait for it to get developed before you sent it. There was plenty of time for reflection. That has been totally taken away from the younger generation. And when they make their mistakes, as all children do, there they are all over the internet. You can’t take them back.”

At Heathfield 11 and 12 year-old girls are allowed to have only “brick” phones with no internet access, but Mrs Heywood does not advocate parents try to protect teenagers by taking their screens away. To protect, you must educate,” she said.

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Interesting thoughts but is it actually viable to think, in an era when the internet is a primary media for accessing music and video content, that it is even possible to regulate it? Instead might it be better to use the internet back on itself and encourage young people to campaign on social media to shame the ‘artists’ involved and make it socially unacceptable to release these videos? Or would the controversy just give them more attention? Let us know what you think and please also have a look at “Wrecking innocence? What children from one school actually think about the Miley Cyrus controversy” for an alternative perspective…

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Wrecking innocence? What children from one school actually think about the Miley Cyrus video
Categories: Technology.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove It’s Groundhog Day – they were having the same discussions in the 50s regarding Elvis. Pointless discussion

  2. Simonablake

    Saphnasharon hope you enjoyed your second week of hols. I am in Leeds Sexpression conference today, then out in your fab city tonight

  3. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove it’s a start. But lessons in Christian morality would help too. Most children have a Christian heritage.

  4. BigCatMerv

    lauzjp not much can stop it in the digital age except good parenting, which sadly appears to be a dying art for most.

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