My thoughts on Avatar...and then some.

On Saturday Kristen and Gavin watched the boys for us so Kevin and I could go see Avatar. I'd only heard good things so I was excited to see it, though I was apprehensive about it's length. I can only sit in a theater for so long before I start getting antsy about the amount of time we've been away from Austin.

So, I realize this isn't a popular opinion, but I really didn't like the movie. I thought the environmentalist message was alright, though I'm not usually fond of movies that have strong agendas and it seemed to drag on a bit to me. The language was pretty bad. But it was the immodesty that really bothered me. I know that they aren't human, and that it is animated. But to me, adding a tail and making them large doesn't detract from the fact that their bodies look human and they are barely wearing a thing. The animation in this film is incredible and while I can appreciate it for the awesome visual effects, I don't appreciate the realistic view of practically naked women.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm hypersensitive about this issue. Our church stresses modesty and it's a virtue that I have taken to heart. But more than that, I am bothered by this movie for the sake of my sons. Kevin and I will be vigilant in teaching them to respect womanhood and the dangers of pornography, but Satan is very good at blurring the lines and making bad things seem good, or at least not really bad. I see all entertainment through the eyes of a mother raising boys in the world today. I see subtle gravitation away from morality and it aggravates me immensely. I see lines getting crossed and it makes me mad.

I came home from the movie discouraged about the world, and not because we aren't taking care of the environment.

That night Kevin and I had a talk about it, about how difficult it will be to teach our boys all that we know and would have them learn in a world of disintegrating values. What a daunting task to combat all that the world is telling them, to teach them truth in the midst of so many lies.

But as I prayed and read my scriptures before bed I felt the fear leave and faith return. It is possible to be steadfast in a world of shifting values, especially when the Lord is on your side. I know this example may seem extreme to some of you. I just want to document it, so that when my boys are teenagers and I say "no way" to most movies, they'll know that I've always been this way and I'm not doing it for any reason other than complete love for them. The hope is that they'll have their own convictions by then.

Boys, I love you. For that reason, I don't want your ears to hear swear words or your eyes to see nudity, even the native, not quite human, animated sort. Love, mom


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  2. Wow, you won another giveaway! you're on a role! lol

    But in regard to this post, it brought tears to my eyes. I agree that modesty is so important and that aspect of Avatar bothered me as well. You're a great mom!

  3. I agree totally with this post and having 4 boys as well I agree too that it is a daunting task to try and keep little minds clean in this world.

  4. I am always inspired by those (like you, Natalie) who not only believe in proper values, but live them and advocate them COMPLETELY.

  5. I completely agree with you! Even the movies for children have gone severely downhill. I know many people think I am rather uptight about what my boys see, but I see it as protecting their innocence as long as possible. For example, we walked out of Where the Wild Things Are. That was not.a.child's.movie. We will not let our children see that movie G-Force because they played "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me" and I felt that whatever was going on, there was no context in a child's movie where that song would be appropriate. They played "Let's Get It On" in Alvin and the Chipmunks, and my kids won't see that either. It seems that the media are in such a hurry to take our kid's innocence today. It's a hard fight, but totally worth it.

  6. I haven't seen it and was feeling left out for not being able to talk about it's awesomeness, but now I definitely won't waste my money or feel bad about missing the "awesomeness" of naked aliens or whatever they are; I know the awesome talk was about the special effects, but still... Thanks for the heads up!

  7. It's so good to hear someone that feels this about modesty. I was just commenting to Josh tonight about how annoying it is when the adversary paints evil things as good, wise and admirable (like people living together before marriage) and how frustrating it is that the society falls for it! And the modesty thing...I feel like it's hard to find people who aren't desensitized about that, even in our church circles. Thanks for not forgetting how important these things are in the formation of kid's minds. I'm glad to know your opinion on Avatar. I haven't seen it yet, wasn't sure I was going to. I probably won't and I won't miss it, I'm sure! I remember that I am happy without seeing it, and I can't guarantee that I'll be glad I saw it if I do, so I might as well pass. I'm ALWAYS grateful for an opinion on movies from people whose values I respect and share.

  8. Oh this is something I have been dealing with for so long! I don't even watch shows that portray a little bit of immorality (like The Bachelor, which seems to be all the rage today on facebook). I find it inappropriate and not entertainin at all. I have a really hard time with a lot of PG rated movies now too because of the way that they sometimes portray sexuality in a joking sense (in a way that kids may not get, but as adults we can see). It bothers me. Even in the movie Cars, which Grace is totally obsessed with lately, one of the cars from Radiator Springs has a lisence plate that says "Sho Girl." And the part where he's looking at the backside of Sally and notices a little tatoo. It's not blatent like "Hey, I'm looking at your back side" because she's a car and we look at the back side of cars all the time...but the message it sends bothers me some. Anyway, it looks like everyone is writing long messages, but I feel very strongly about the things we watch in the Newton household. I actually refused to see Avatar because Michael told me how they were dressed...and the violance, I can'd do violence any more.

  9. I couldn't agree more with everything you said. This issue is a big one for me too.
    It's funny, because my husband and I were planning on seeing this movie Saturday night too, but then I read the reviews about a naked animated woman and decided it wasn't for me!
    I strongly feel that one of my most important roles as a mother is to protect my children from a lot of the sleeze that is in the world and to keep my home a haven from this type of material.
    Thanks for writing this post and taking the time to articulate your feelings on the matter!


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