This past weekend, Tyler County was the setting of unbelievable, unimaginable acts of heinous behavior.
Yes, Tyler County. . .the rumors are true. The girls of our quiet little county have indeed gone wild.
When the news of alcohol sales at the Black Diamond Race reached our office, we crossed our fingers and hoped the race fans would drink responsibly. However, when the news of the impending arrival of the "Girls Gone Wild" bus came. . .we suspected the combination of the two would spell disaster in BIG, BOLD letters.
And, we were correct. . .to a certain degree.
Underage consumption, lewd conduct, full nudity, public sex acts. . .you name it, and it probably happened at the Tyler County Speedway last week.
Our question to those who planned the event is, "Was the revenue generated by this parade of obscene behavior worth the black eye you have given Tyler County in the aftermath?"
Photographs, videos and rumors now run rampant throughout our communities, to the outrage of most of the population. But the saddest part of the story serves as the most devastating blow to our image: The majority of the debauchery was perpetrated not by the ladies who came on the bus, but by spectators who came to watch the show.
It's sad when young women, regardless of where they come from, are will to degrade themselves for the sake of a little attention - whether it's from the local boys or the "so-called fame" and notoriety of being on Girls Gone Wild. After the spotlight fades, the alcohol is gone from their systems and the weekend is over, however, all that remains of their 15-minutes of fame is a few photographs and videos and a bad reputation.
When it all boils down, it's a matter of self-esteem and feeling you have some worth (beyond your physical assets) to share with the world. Sadly, there are too few young ladies these days who feel that sense of pride and esteem, and that is the real shame.
But ultimately it's a matter of choice. If a woman wishes to display her naked body in public or even participate in acts of sexuality that would ordinarily be performed privately, that's her choice. But the Girls Gone Wild, as well as many other amateur organizations, prey on the fact that so many young girls out there seem to define their value in only one way: through the negative attention of young men. The shame, then, is not solely on those organizations or those young women, but on the parents who have failed to help their daughters see themselves in any other way.
Parents raising daughters, and parents raising sons, should teach their children that beauty comes from the inside, that self-worth is sometimes about self-control. In our society, where teenage mothers are glorified as 'hip' on MTV, and youngsters are constantly barraged by distorted images of "celebrity lifestyles" it's no wonder some young people think these types of behavior are acceptable, permissible, and even desirable.
Maybe they are - if your standards are so low that exhibitionism is seen as glamorous. It's a do-all, tell-all world we live in, sadly lacking in propriety or restraint. Inexcusable behavior is the glorified norm - so maybe we shouldn't be surprised it arrived here on a bus, complete with cameras. But we should be a little embarrassed, and a little ashamed. We should have a little more class than that.