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What is "Girls Gone Wild"?

How do you characterize such a product as this? Is it porn? Debatable. Documentary? Not exactly. Social commentary? Dear God, aren't you giving it too much credit? The truth is even though I have decided to node this oft considered horror to humanity, I have to admit I am probably more bewildered than anybody as to how to feel about it.

Let's get the facts out of the way. "Girls Gone Wild" is an entertainment label under Mantra Films run by 30-year-old perennial frat boy Joe Francis. It is also a mutli-million dollar industry. The DVDs and videos put out by "Girls Gone Wild" feature 18 year old + girls, usually intoxicated, exposing themselves or performing sexual acts in exchange for t-shirts (or beads if they're at Mardi Gras). Though Francis and company are almost constantly charged with performing criminal activity, racketeering in particular, they are continually acquitted.

I'm gonna try and play both sides of the fence here. If I offend or outrage anyone please feel free to node up and make an ass out of me.

Okay now, has Joe Francis ever videotaped minors exposing themselves? Yes, a few. They usually sue. They are the good virginal minors, and he is the sleazy million dollar man. However when it gets to court, Joe usually has videotaped evidence of this minor directly lying to him about her age while intoxicated (by her own doing), so how can you blame him? Sure, he offered the opportunity, but she had the ability to decline, she instead lied, while drinking under age (by American standards), and gave him permission to use the footage. When not considering the lewdness of his request, Joe is very much the moral victor in the situation. Why was Daddy's little girl drinking and lying to boys about her age to begin with? Can he really be blamed for what this girl is charging? Or did she bring it on herself? I can't begin to answer, and thus begins the conundrum that is my mixed feelings over "Girls Gone Wild".

Minors are just a pebble in the shoe of the "Girls Gone Wild" experience. Do any of these girls who are of age regret what they've done the following morning? For the most part, the girls involved seem excited, even honored to participate. I for one like to think that is the general consensus out there: That these girls are just proud of their bodies and guys like me are reaping all the benefits.

But what is it we're reaping exactly? What makes "Girls Gone Wild", which is for the most part voyeuristic of nudity and not so much of sex, appealing over your average, run of the mill porno? Once again, I don't really know. The possibility of seeing some girl you know, perhaps. Where an old high school crush going on to become a porn star strikes us as too over the top and out of character, the idea of witnessing her embracing her femininity on a beach by chance is a much more arousing concept, leaving the mind to imagine she could still be great and on to normal successes rather than be the slutty sex addict we feel real porno would necessitate. At the same time, for other guys there can be the element of "that's the girl who turned me down in high school, and now I get to see her boobs anyway because she's really drunk, stupid and most importantly, on this videotape." Also, perhaps that it's all girl-on-girl. Those of us guys who aren't comfortable enough with our masculinity can sit back and watch it without having to worry about a pesky penis popping up on screen.

And yes, I did say something about social commentary back there at the top. I know, I know. Just give me a second. "Girls Gone Wild" might be the foremost window we have in to what will soon become the 21st Century American Woman. It's very much representative of that Daddy's little girl transitioning in to a young woman, because though it sucks for Daddy, we all know girls this age are dealing heavily in their sexuality. Take away its obvious exploitative purposes - "Girls Gone Wild" is a multi-million dollar series that honestly explores the sexuality of today's young women. The obvious retort to this is No it's not. There are hundreds of hours of footage that you don't see of women turning these assholes down. Most women would turn them down. Girls Gone Wild does not apply to all women. But neither does "Sex in the City", and that show still strikes a chord about women on a very sexual, feminine level. Like I said, I have no idea how I feel about this. I don't think "Girls Gone Wild" tries to say anything or for that matter does say anything special. But does it say more than porno? Maybe. After all, they're real, they're not faking. Hmmm. Insert your own porno joke here...

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