Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why I won't watch you...Whip/Nae Nae

I'm raising kids in 2015, so I've heard Whip/Nae Nae more times than I care to count.  Thanks to its prevalence in the pop culture, my 9 year old son has the lyrics memorized and attempts most of the movements.  I've been known to break out my Whip/Nae Nae on more than one occasion, trying to maintain my cool mom status.  The song seems fun and harmless, and there are no apparent curse words in the simple repetitive lyrics.  We're watching people all over the globe hit Instagram and YouTube with their versions of the Whip/Nae Nae.  The problem, which was pointed out to me by a teenager who saw me doing the "Stanky leg," is that the urban meaning of most of these dance terms is vulgar and inappropriate and most of us don't even know it.

I'll cite a few examples, but I really hope that you (parents only, PLEASE) take the time to look up the definition on Urban Dictionary of some of these words (I've hyperlinked them for you, just click on the highlighted words).  Some are harmless, Whip refers to a Mercedes Benz or a really expensive car, but some are anything but.  The term "Superman" is vile, "Duff" is either insulting to women or it's a reference to drugs, "Bop Bop" is something I don't want to ever watch my 9 year old do, and taken singularly, "Bop" is possibly worse.  We say these words not knowing what they mean, and they seem harmless on the surface.  I challenge you that this makes them even worse because they're hidden poison masked under the guise of just having fun.

To my children,

Don't get me wrong, I want you to have fun.  I want you to dance, I want you to sing, I want you to celebrate and I want you to experience exuberance beyond what I can even imagine.  However, I do not want to watch you denigrate yourself or another human being.  I will never sit idly by while you make a mockery of the innocence I have spent your life trying to help you learn to protect, and I refuse to watch you Whip.