I’ve heard, over the years, that Vegas was trying to reinvent itself to be a more family-oriented vacation destination.
What I’m sayin’ here is, “not so much.”
Yes, there are quite a few places that we wouldn’t mind taking the girls. We spent a good part of Saturday morning at the Bellagio, gawking at gorgeous glass flowers, butterflies suspended from the ceiling, topiary and flower sculptures, and chocolate fountains. It’s pretty easy to avoid the casino in that resort, so it wouldn’t be a big deal to bring the girls through the lobby. We are staying at a nice place that has a big pool and daily, kid-friendly activities that the girls would love. I’ve been told that there are a lot of fun things to do at New York, New York – several roller coasters and an arcade, though I haven’t seen such with my own eyes.
Beyond that, though? Uh, no. Kids should stay home. Walking to the strip Friday morning, we passed not one, not two, not three… (can you see where this is going?) newspaper boxes filled with free “Playmate Girls” magazines/fliers. I can only assume (because, you know, I didn’t actually stop to pick one up) that they are advertisements for shows and ‘escort services’ (and, just as an aside, how did I not know that prostitution is legal in Nevada? What the hell is wrong with me?). At best, the women in the pictures are scantily clad. At worst, they’re not clad at all.
Not only are the fliers pretty much everywhere, but there are people in the streets offering business cards to tourists as they pass. On these business cards are – you guessed it – naked women. Seriously naked women. I’m talking “nothing left to the imagination” naked. The people who take these cards generally don’t keep them, though, and they end up fluttering around like snowflakes on the sidewalk. Very naked, very sexual snowflakes.
Now, I have no problem with nudity. We have a very matter-of-fact attitude about nakedness in our household. I make a point of NOT making a point of nakedness and of not sensationalizing body parts; I don’t want the girls to grow up with a sense that parts of them are bad or dirty – private, sure, but not taboo. An elbow is no more or less than a breast. I’m not even sure I have a problem with the kind of nudity I saw in those cards and fliers; I take no issue with porn, per se (of course, everyone has their aesthetic limits) and, really, the women in the pictures have gorgeous bodies – if *I* looked like that, I might consider having my picture taken for money (but that’s ALL I’d consider).
What I’m saying here, though, is that, even though I don’t have a problem with it for me, I do have a problem with it for anyone under the age of, say, 18. Commercialized sexuality is something that requires a fair bit of maturity to put into perspective (a maturity that I’m not sure most adults even have, so I feel I’m being charitable with the 18 year old limit). I know for sure that Punkin’ Pie and Beanie aren’t ready to intellectualize the input they’d get here.
Vegas pretty much gave up the whole family-friendly advertising campaign and switched to the far more appropriate “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” If you’ve got kids, skip Vegas and go to Disney.
**I’m going to be processing this trip for quite some time, so please put up with the posts…