In Darryl Roberts’ latest documentary ‘America The Beautiful 3,’ the director shines a light on the sexualization of today’s youth in his series that deals with pervasive issues in our society.
While the first two ‘America The Beautiful’ films dealt with social issues that children face today, the third installment dives deep into our over sexualized culture and how damaging it is for children and teens today.
‘America The Beautiful 3’ focuses on everything from how kids are inundated with sexual images in advertisements to children’s beauty pageants to the prevalence of pornography in our culture and much more. Director, writer and producer Darryl Roberts said, “the sexualization of our youth is creating a mental health crisis in young girls, according to the American Psychological Association.”
While shooting ‘America The Beautiful 3,’ Darryl Roberts together with one of his interns named Cali Linstrom spearheaded a campaign against Abercrombie & Fitch after the popular clothing company’s CEO made controversial statements about why they refused to carry any women’s sizes above a large.
Back in May of 2013 Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon magazine, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” After Roberts and Cali Linstrom began their campaign against the trendy retailer, a national boycott began. Eager to clean up the PR nightmare, the company apologized for Jeffries quote and announced a 20-city anti-bullying campaign, which launched last fall and their support of ‘diversity and inclusion.” Watch the ABC News video here.
Roberts noted the Abercrombie controversy is now the centerpiece of the film and helped changed its direction. “It was this storyline alone that had me include anti-bullying as a topic to fall under the general thesis of the film. It may seem like a stretch, but Cali felt that advertisers that torment children with sexualized advertising are bullies and Cali had just stood up to a bully.”
Roberts said his goal for the film is to “start a national discussion on how we can protect our youth.” He added, “The fallout from sexualizing children is low self-esteem, eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.”
The director claims a lot of the damage done by overtly sexual television shows and advertisements can be healed by a strong “family structure.” He said, “Advertisers won’t stop advertising the way that they do as long as there’s billions of dollars to be made. Celebrities won’t stop twerking and being overtly sexual as long as there’s fame to be had.”
He added, “If adults and parents start stepping up in our children’s lives and being role models and supporters instead of trying to be kids friends by wearing their clothes and listening to their music, we can create the kind of bond with children that will prevent some of them from falling prey to overt sexualization.”
Roberts said watching the film as a family will help open the dialogue and start the healing, “The film kind of brings parents into the sexualized world that their children are living in and provides a safe haven to have the kind of conversations that probably wouldn’t have come up if they hadn’t watched the film together.”
‘American The Beautiful 3’ is now playing at the Laemmle Noho Theater 7 in North Hollywood, Calif. It opens in Dallas on Oct. 20, in Houston on Oct. 22 and Chicago on Oct. 24. It will be released in VOD on April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For more info and release dates click here.