In today's world, the media shows different scenarios of kids, parents, families, and marriages. Although most families are not the same, media images of family and marriage help us by showing same sex couples can be parents, perfect households hardly exist, and gives people something to look up to. Focusing on the "ideal" family and marriage is not helpful and quite frankly can be harmful. Unlike the 1950's media that had perfect marriages, kids, and houses, today's media does not try to make everything seem perfect. Realistic situations on television shows and movies allow us to relate our lives and seek for answers.
Same sex couple marriages were denied with the pass of Proposition 8. Even though same sex couples aren't getting married, they are still eligible to become parents. In shows like Modern Family, it is somewhat normal for two men to be parents. Gay couples are perfectly able to raise children and care for them. Although some people in our society still say it is "wrong", we have to ask ourselves is it better children do not get adopted and have a worse life ahead? The media helps gay and lesbian couples look up to TV shows along with movies and let go of any inhibitions to be proud of who they are. It is a step forward for same sex couples to not only be able to be seen on the media but demand the equal rights to marriage in the future. In Evan Wolfsons essay What Is Marriage? it is stated "In fact, exclusion from the freedom to marry unfairly punishes committed same sex couples and their families by depriving them of critical assistance, security, and obligations in virtually every area of life, including, yes, even death and taxes". Furthermore, if the media would keep letting people see "perfect" images of family it would hurt not only same sex couples but everyone else.
In the 1950's, the typical family would be living in a beautiful big house with a father, a mother, and their two lovely kids. Today, I do not think I can name a family that remotely compares to the life of a 1950's family, which is perfectly normal by the standards of society now. Each family has a different type of story. Nowadays it is rare that a marriage still lasts. According to divorcerate.org "over 50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce." Along with divorce, women now are having children without getting married in the first place. Many shows on TV like My Three Sons allow children to understand that if they do not have a mom or a dad that it's not their fault and that is how life sometimes works. Most of the people I know today haven't seen or heard from their fathers in years. The media is allowing us to understand that the ideal family cannot happen in society now and it has to be embraced. It would be wrong for children to watch shows that have no meaning to their life. The relation of shows and peoples life not only makes TV more interesting but also helps many understand life works in mysterious ways.
Thirdly, because the world is so diverse and confusing much of the media is how children learn about life. In the essay Looking for Work by Gary Soto, the main character asks his mom "Mom, do you think we could get dressed up for dinner one of these days? David King does". Exactly my point. Young children would watch television that in no shape or form can relate to their own lives. The 1950's showed mothers dressed in pears and make up done daily, the men were the breadwinners for their family, and much violence was not shown on TV. In a series called Law and Order Special Victims Unit, the detectives are faced with problems daily of rape, murder, incest, and problems not shown through media in the 1950's. The fact that these shows are shown today can help many people. For instance, if someone who got molested by their father on a regular basis did not know it was wrong and watched the show can indeed ask someone for help. Even domestic violence at home wasn't shown on TV before. A movie based on the 1950's called Revolutionary Road showed everything a typical 1950's family had. Even though it seemed perfect as always the wife was terribly miserable and not only cheated on her husband but ended up committing suicide from the pain of pretending to be something she is not. All in all, today's media allows not only adults but children understand the important issues and the difference between fiction and nonfiction.
Lastly, I do believe that media images of family and marriage help us. Aside from showing us that same sex couples can be parents, perfect households hardly exist, and has people something to look up, it also resembles the time we are in. The media nowadays not only help us but shows how, far as people, we have come. The mindless idea of everything being perfect no longer exists. We have become a society that has us dependent on no one but ourselves. As the world grows and things change the media is the way for us to keep up. All in all, media is a way for us to learn about the world and its challenges and understand a little more about each other.