Banned in 2011: Part 3
Saggy Pants, Satanic Names and Airbrushed Ads
Continuing our multi-part series, we take a look at more things that were banned or things that people tried to ban in 2011.
Pull Up Your Pants!
Sagging pants may not be the most flattering of all styles, but surely it can’t pose such a threat to merit banning can it? Apparently, it can:
The law, which took effect on July 1, prohibits exposing “underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or that disrupts the orderly learning environment.” It requires school boards to include the saggy pants restrictions and discipline in student conduct and dress codes.
Again, as I’ve said many times before, children rebel. They are in a stage in their life when they’re trying to discover their identities, and as much as parents and teachers try to influence their habits, they do not respond well with pressure from authority.
And a law forcing them to “dress appropriately” will not teach them anything about decency. Students should learn lessons through experience and influence, not the strong arm of the law.
Banned Names Down Under
If I told you I was naming my kid “Devil” or “Satan,” you would probably give me a weird look. Parents in New Zealand no longer have the choice to name their kids Lucifer.
New Zealand’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has now rejected three parents’ requests to name their new babies Lucifer, effectively banning the name, reports the Australian Associated Press.
This is part of a wider effort to become stricter about what flies when it comes to giving your newborn a moniker no one else on the playground will have. Three years ago, the agency came under fire for allowing Violence, Number 16 Bus Shelter, and a set of twins, Benson and Hedges (after the cigarette brand) to come into the world.
Then came Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii. She was so troubled by her name that she legally changed it—at age nine. In allowing her to do so, Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt said strange names could traumatize youngsters: “It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap.”
In the past two years the registrar has cracked down, saying no to 102 names including Bishop, Knight, King, and Mr, insisting that they were too much like titles. Messiah also didn’t work, neither did 89 or the single letters, C, D, or T (though Q and J curiously managed to slide through after being queried). Slashes and asterisks within names are also a no go.
While certainly weird names like Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence are strange names, is naming your kid a name like Lucifer the equivalent of child abuse?
Some of these names are really weird, but can the government tell you what you can and cannot name your child? What’s wrong with names like T or D?
Names like T.J. and C.J. are fine, but one letter names are preposterous!
Lucifer actually means “light bringer,” which is actually sort of cool. It’s unfortunate that it carries with it such a stigma that people feel threatened by it.
What do you think? Is this ban okay?
That TV Ad Isn’t Real…Enough
How many of you believe everything you hear from TV? How many of you think that every commercial tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Well apparently, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority believes that should be the case [emphasis theirs]:
Cosmetic adverts featuring airbrushed images of actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington have been banned by the advertising watchdog.
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson complained that the L’Oreal adverts were “not representative of the results the products could achieve”.
The Advertising Standards Authority agreed that the images were exaggerated and breached its code of conduct.
L’Oreal admitted retouching but denied that the two adverts were misleading.
I think the U.K. ASA assumes that everyone is dumb and cannot think for themselves. Do advertising messages have an influence on how we think or behave? Certainly, but to a much lesser extent than what some would like us to believe.
The ASA is treating L’Oreal like a criminal, asking them to provide evidence that the claims made in their advertisement were 100 percent true. The ASA did not receive the “proper” evidence, so it banned the ads. The only problem is, L’Oreal does not have due process, it does not have an appeals system and the ASA assumes that L’Oreal is guilty before proven innocent.
If anything, this is a problem of education and not a problem of misleading advertisements.