Mayim Bialik: The Problem With That Giant Billboard of Ariana Grande


So, here’s my deal: I’m socially conservative even though I’m a liberal. Confused yet?

I am a bleeding heart liberal without exception. But I am old-fashioned. My kids have clothes they only wear to synagogue. I don’t favor my kids cursing. I dress modestly. I don’t want my kids learning about sex from billboards. Stuff like that.

Which is why a few billboards I have seen lately really bug me. There is one for Ariana Grande, and I will go ahead and admit I have no idea who she is or what she does. Based on the billboard, she sells lingerie. Or stiletto heels. Or plastic surgery because every woman over 22 wishes she has that body, I’m sure. Why is she in her underwear on this billboard though? And if she has a talent (is she a singer?), then why does she have to sell herself in lingerie? I mean, I know that society is patriarchal and women are expected to be sexy and sexually available no matter what we do in society, but I guess now I need to explain that to my sons?

Then there are the “Masters of Sex” ads. Seriously? How am I supposed to explain those to my kids? Especially my older son who can read?

And while I’m having an old lady moment, what’s up with those ads for Levi’s jeans where it’s basically people groping each other as foreplay and undressing each other while making out? Just tearing those jeans off of each other’s bodies like it’s the last day to repopulate the earth. I saw this ad when I went to see the latest “Planet of the Apes” movie a month or so ago and I thought to myself, “I don’t want my kids seeing this ad if they come to the movies.” I just don’t want them to see this ad.

There’s also some billboard for a new show about teenagers in school or something and one of the girls depicted is I guess the “mean girl” and she is flipping the bird in her poster. She’s clearly a young teenager, but I’m wondering why I need her giving the finger in this ad.

Am I a crotchety old lady? I guess so. But I just don’t understand why this is what ads need to look like. What good does it do for humanity or society? Why do I have to be OK with young women literally in lingerie on gigantic billboards? If I want to see women in lingerie, I can walk through any mall with a Victoria’s Secret.

Which, by the way, is a misnomer because there is nothing secret about what’s being sold at Victoria’s Secret.

You know what I think the secret is? The secret is that when there is no camera around, Victoria probably likes a cozy robe, a cup of tea, and Jean-Paul Sartre’s autobiography. OK, maybe that’s just me, but still.

Just sayin’.

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Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik blogs about parenting and Judaism on Kveller. She is best known for her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory, as well as her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom. She is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is the founder of GrokNation.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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