Variations in “Childhood”

In the book, Meet Kerstin, the idea of “childhood” was represented as playful and free as Kerstin went to school and played with her dolls, while at the Super Bowl halftime show “childhood” was represented as frightening and scary by putting children in cages to show the effects of the controversial border situation with immigrant children. In today’s society in America, the majority of people believe that childhood is a universal experience and that all children follow a similar path to adulthood, however this is not the case. In Meet Kerstin, her childhood story starts as she immigrates to the United States. On the treacherous journey she experiences sickness and witnesses the death of her close friend. When she got to America, her childhood experience began to change. This was because of the many factors such as culture, family and gender roles, education, class and race, religion that began to shape her childhood. Kerstin was given freedom as a child due the privilege she began to obtain in America. She was able to live with her entire family, go to school every day, explore new places on her family’s farm in Minnesota and play with her dolls. All of these things created Kerstin’s lived experience which defined her childhood.
On the other hand, a child who has immigrated from Puerto Rico to America would have a drastically different childhood experience today than Kerstin did. Even though Kerstin and a Puerto Rican child are both considered immigrants the policies that have been put in place have drastically changed the immigration process and the way immigrant children are treated. At the Super Bowl half time show, Jennifer Lopez purposely designed the set of the stage to have children in cages in order to make a political statement about the controversial border situation that Trump is currently enforcing. She is bringing awareness to people about the children who are living their childhoods in fear of being separated from their families. She is advocating that things such as your race, gender, ethnicity or class should not drastically change how a child is treated in America. Childhood in today’s society has begun to be defined by historical and social situations and Jennifer Lopez is trying to put a stop to that. Although not everyone’s childhood experience will be the same, children should not have to live in fear. We should be more focused on nurturing the real needs and situations of children and omit the singular idea of childhood.

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