Art & Culture: Personalizing Politics

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Plugged In has often said that the entertainment we engage and indulge in has the power to mold how we see and think about the world—whether we realize it or not. And in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision making gay marriage legal in the United States, openly homosexual actor Harvey Fierstein is—perhaps […]

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Miley Cyrus Has Become the Poster Child for Consent

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America’s sexual revolution has been underway for some time now. And at least as far back as 1967’s so-called “Summer of Love,” traditional and biblical understandings of the purpose and place of sexuality in our lives have been under open assault. But what began as a countercultural movement has in the ensuing decades become anything […]

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Abercrombie Shelving Sexy Ads

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Remember the days when clothier Abercrombie & Fitch was all about selling its stuff with images of barely clothed, beautiful teen bodies—the sort of sexiness prominently featured on in-store displays in the form of bionic backs, parabolic pectorals and implausible parades of perfect tanned curves? That was a time when a clothing catalogue could shamelessly […]

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Music Videos Shape Teens’ Values

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MTV doesn’t focus much on music these days. But the medium that the cable channel helped pioneer back in the 1980s, the music video, continues to exert significant cultural influence. Specifically, a new study conducted by researchers at Catholic University of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium, finds that some teens who watch music videos today are […]

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Unpacking Madonna’s Spiritual Beliefs

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Madonna’s 13th album, Rebel Heart, includes quite a lot of spiritual imagery—sometimes couching temptation in terms of a struggle requiring divine assistance, other times merging erotic sexual innuendo and religious iconography in deliberately provocative ways. In a lengthy new interview with Rolling Stone, the Material Girl talked about some of her spiritual experiences growing up, […]

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Fifty Trades of ‘Shades’?

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The big-screen adaptation of E.L. James’ bestselling bondage novel Fifty Shades of Grey lands in theaters later this week. Some industry prognosticators are predicting the explicit, controversial film could generate as much as $60 million in its opening weekend. Other voices, however, are not just calling for a boycott of the movie, but asking would-be […]

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Kim K.’s Unlikely Invitation to an Important Conversation

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I spend a lot of time in my job on the Internet, observing what’s happening in the news and popular culture. Here at Plugged In, we pay especially close attention to how entertainment is influencing our society in general and young people in particular. Sometimes that means we have to engage—or are at least be […]

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