Contributor: Priyanka Thupili
Like many children, my first reading experiences were dominated by illustrations plastered across pages and the captions that accompanied them. As a four-year-old, I relished flipping through pages and wreaking havoc upon them with the scribbles of crayons and whatever instruments I had access to at the time.
Not too long afterwards, I progressed to books with fewer pictures, if any. Once I turned six, I was rather proud of the fact that I was now civilized enough to stop scribbling in books. Apparently, so were my parents; this was around the time my mother introduced me to the local public library. We had established the habit of a weekly excursion to this oddly quiet place, and as I learned to read faster, I grabbed more and more books. When I was a six-year-old, the first few of these books that legitimately had me hooked were from R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series. Read more
Contributor: Samantha Stillman
Eminem, Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers; no matter the name, this 39 year-old “white-boy” rapper has been a controversial topic in American pop culture since his debut in 1998. Brought up in a less than what is considered ideal household, Eminem makes clear through his lyrics the hatred he feels for his parents, in particular his mother.
I was eight years old when Eminem released his album, “The Eminem Show.” Read more
Contributor: Carol Perales
“Sex in the City” was a 90’s American cable hit television show. Set in New York City, the show broadcasted on HBO from 1998-2004. The comedy series focused on the life of Carrie Bradshaw, a New York writer who discussed various themes centered on love, sex, and relationships. The show touched on various issues affecting Carrie’s life as well as that of her three best friends who were also dealing with various challenges facing the single 90’s woman. The show became very popular with young women ages 18-34 who were attracted to the show’s humor, or felt a connection to its themes.“Sex in the City” was very straightforward with sexual references and crude humor and therefore faced much criticism from parents and religious groups who felt that these shows had a negative effect on its audiences, especially children and teenagers. Read more
Contributor: Colleen Nelson
Over the past decade, children’s idols have drastically changed shape. The once revered Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear have been replaced with reality TV stars. The cast of shows like Jersey Shore have invaded the homes of American families, and their actions have begun to influence our children in many ways. Children’s vocabulary, clothing, actions, mannerisms, and ideals have all transformed to mimic these TV idols.
Contributor: Maira Jorge
Co-executive producers Matt Groening, Sam Simon, and James L. Brooks directed their controversial and well-known cartoon series, “The Simpsons,” for the adult audience from their first appearance in 1987 in between sketches of “The Tracy Ullman Show”.  The satire of a dysfunctional American family, however, grabbed the attention of the entire family, whether with wide acceptance or extremely negative criticisms. Indeed, one of its creators, Simon, recognized how offensive the show might result to some Americans and admitted that he was made nervous by “so much angry mail, and because kids like the show so much”. 
Contributor: Emily Garza
Last March as I was reading my little niece’s birthday wish list I began to experience what I thought was a mild heart attack. The list was deluged with what I considered to be acceptable presents for an eight-year-old girl. There was the typical Barbie, sneakers, clothes, a new bicycle and then there it was, “Miley Cyrus CD”. As I read that much-publicized name, images of hip thrusting, older boyfriends, and scandalous personal pictures ran through my mind. I quickly began going over in my head the much-needed lecture my niece was going to get. Then boom! It hit me, I had turned into my mother. Read more
Contributor: Allyson Burton
Like many children who grew up during the 1990s, I enjoyed watching television. The channel I watched the most often was Nickelodeon, despite my parents’ distaste for some of the shows. I distinctly remember my mother’s voice as she said, “I wish you wouldn’t watch that…” “The Ren and Stimpy Show” (a cartoon created by John Kricfalusi that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991-1998) was my parents’ least favorite because it was “gross”. It centered on the characters Ren and Stimpy, who the Internet Movie Database describes as “An intense, hyperactive Chihuahua…and a happy-go-lucky, empty-brained cat.”  IMDB summarizes the show itself as “The gross misadventures of a hyper Chihuahua and a stupid cat.”  Read more
Contributor: Corynn Wilson
The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” could not have been more perfect for the first music video to air on MTV in 1981, merging television and music to create the ultimate pop culture phenomenon. Proceeding through the 80s, MTV served as a transformative, youth-targeting source of hit music that soon became the leading market for artists and record companies. MTV’s market became such a straight ticket to the youth’s influence (thus its sky-high value) that its content evolved through the next two decades from a “kind of video jukebox,” Steve Johnson writes in the Los Angeles Times, to an abundance of teenage-directed advertisements, campaigns, and most importantly, television shows. Read more