Newspapers are so X-rated for children (be careful when recycling them)

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Only after we were already set up to paint I realized the picture in the newspaper I used to protect the table was with this lingerie advertisement. It´s at least funny to do such innocent child paint over two almost naked women.

This picture didn´t bother me at all, Luísa is more than used to see a woman naked. But I checked the rest of the newspaper and the truth is that the lingerie was the most naive picture in it. On the other pages there were police handcuffing a man, dead bodies on the street and a bleeding man taken to an ambulance.

What kind of newspapers are you reading? You might ask.

Physical newspapers, none really. I only read online. And to be more honest, I go on a healthy information diet. I read what interests me, I actively seek the information that suits me.

And guess what? This doesn’t prevent me from knowing the braking news just a few hours after it happened. It´s quite difficult to hide from big news, actually.

I do like to get old newspapers and take a peek sometimes. It always amuses me how reading an old newspaper doesn´t look like reading old news. How odd is that?

But the best use for newspapers, in my opinion, is using them for art, painting and wrapping up presents.

When we bought our latest present and asked the woman at the store if she had some old newspapers, she thought it was rather strange that I´d use it to wrap the present we just bought. ¨You can buy a beautiful paper in the other store¨, she said. But I said: ¨Yeah, but it makes me feel bad to use it only once…¨ I didn´t expect her to understand.

The problem about asking anyone for old newspapers is the level of pictures we will find in them. Now I have to censor some pages, so Luísa won´t see anything terrible. I´m doing such a good job by not having a TV already, this shouldn´t go to waste with some sensationalist newspaper, right?

Those pictures made me wonder about the images that children all around are exposed to. I read a sort of weekly news-magazine at my dad´s house a while ago, and I was astonished at the pictures inside of it. One occupied almost two pages with decapitated bodies in Mexico, a story about the gangs fighting over drug markets. Others had war images, ugly ones. I´ve been so off of the mainstream media that I forgot how shitty is was.

And I´m so not used to see horrible pictures that when I do, it really affects me. I stare at the picture trying to understand why this is all happening. It breaks my heart for real and I keep seeing the image in my head for a while. I guess something much more intense than this goes on in a child´s mind.

I´m horrified at the possibility of children facing this type of magazine or newspaper (or the news on TV, the action movies, the soap operas…). What if Luísa saw it? What horrible nightmares could come from that? What distorted perceptions of reality they can produce?

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on April 7, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.

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