There’s been a lot of controversy lately around Disney Channel stars. First, Vanessa Hudgens’ fried eggs and ham show up on the internet, and now the 15-year-old ‘tween queen, Miley Cyrus, has been crucified over a picture posted on her MySpace page where she exposes (please make sure you’re over 21 before reading on or viewing the following photos because this is really sick shit)…
A TINY PART OF HER GREEN BRA!!! *gasp*
And most recently, photos surfaced from a Vanity Fair shoot where Miley one-upped herself by…
EXPOSING HER BACK!!!! *zomg*
Wow… seriously? I thought little Miley was starring in some hardcore bestiality porn from the way people have been talking about her. Parents are all up in arms over the photos and are questioning whether or not Miley is an appropriate role model for their daughters.
In one interview, a mother states that she thought she was doing a good job as a parent by only allowing her daughter to watch the Disney Channel. This is mind bottling since I’m positive that the Disney Channel will not be airing these photos in order to raise Hannah Montana’s ratings in the 15-year-old male category. Sure, the concern is probably more along the lines of knowing these photos will eventually be seen by young girls who look up to Miley. But really, what’s the big deal?
I guess the big deal is that parents are relying too much on the Disney Channel to raise their children and produce role models who are unable to make the mistakes that most other people do.
The Disney Channel and its young stars only have a responsibility to provide programming that is “G” rated. Beyond that, parents should assume some responsibility when real-life situations arise. Many parents are concerned that they will have to “talk” to their children if young celebrities don’t shape up, but I don’t see the problem here. It’s quite healthy to have discussions with children about the world instead of always trying to create an impenetrable bubble around them.
Unfortunately, this Disney star / role model / babysitter is a 15-year-old young woman (Vanessa Hudgens is 19) with a fan base full of 6 to 13-year-olds, as well 35 to 40-year-olds because Hannah Montana pulls parents in as well (the first season was awesome, innovative, and Billy Ray Cyrus is a hot piece in the mom crowd). Part of the problem is that the younger viewers haven’t experienced what it’s like to be 15 yet, and their parents obviously don’t remember. But there’s a broader issue of parents who continually underestimate the minds of today’s youth.
Luckily, I was able to have a discussion with two experts (12-year-old girls) about Miley this evening after I hopped off a plane in Washington, DC. As I was walking to baggage claim, I noticed two young girls being silly, and one of them had a Hannah Montana shirt on. I asked the parents if I could have a conversation with them about Miley Cyrus and anything they’ve heard about her lately.
We started out by just talking about Miley / Hannah, how much we all love her, how good the show is and how much we love her music. I waited for the natural point to ask the girls if they wanted to be like Miley Cyrus. Immediately, the girls both threw out a bunch of different things about Miley, such as being able to sing, play guitar, and the piano- things they aspire to do as well. None of these influences have anything to do with Miley’s personal life.
I then asked if they had heard anything negative about Miley recently. Both of the girls were aware that there was some sort of controversy over photos, but (to my surprise) neither of the two girls had seen the actual photos and were a little embarrassed when I asked them to elaborate on any details they knew about the photos. I asked if they thought Miley was a bad person and they said no. When I asked if their impression of Miley has changed, they both replied, “oh, no- we still love her.” Then one of the girls brought up the fact that Miley is older- how insightful for such an impressionable young girl, right?
For those of us “adults” who don’t yet have our heads so far up our asses covered in hypocritical bullshit, Miley posting “scandalous” photos on her MySpace isn’t exactly abnormal, either. Sure, the medium of distribution is a little different than it was 10 years ago since digital photography and the internet weren’t exactly as accessible as they are now, but in the end it’s all normal exploration of the developing curiosity that comes along with the many physical and mental changes during the teen years.
But these kinds of public exhibitions on the internet have certainly had an impact on when teens first engage in sexual intercourse, right? Yes, definitely- just not the in the way most people might like to think. I’m not saying there’s a direct relationship here, but I do find it interesting that young people are waiting longer than ever before to have sex (and they’re being safer, too!) despite all the public displays of sexuality that are destroying our youth.
Oh wait, I know. We all know that you-know-who is going to say “OMG DID YOU MAKE THAT UP?!??!” So, here’s a bit on teen sex (since that’s what most of you dirty birds want anyway)…
Maybe there’s nothing here, but being exposed to and exploring sexuality in the digital age might not be such a bad thing after all. Perhaps teenagers these days experiment on the internet by posting photos on their MySpace pages to test their comfort level when it comes to sexuality. When I was 15, this sort of testing was done by being thrust into a situation, forced to make a quick decision, then deciding afterward whether or not it was within the comfort zone. Now, teenagers are given the option to establish comfort levels at a bit of a distance and avoid situations they are not ready for in person.
But nobody is saying that to Miley, nobody is telling her that she’s still a good girl- she’s being pressured to admit that she’s the opposite. Since the Vanity Fair photos hit the scene and added more fuel to the fire, Miley made a statement saying that she is “embarrassed” (same word used by Vanessa Hudgens in response to her photo scandal) by the photos. Way to go, America. You’ve done a fantastic job of making yet another young woman feel ashamed of herself, her body, her developing mind, and her natural 15-year-old curiosities.
In reality, I think this photo (also from the Vanity Fair shoot) gives the real insight into who Miley really is:
DOESN’T SHE LOOK LIKE A LITTLE TRAMP ON HER WAY TO DEVOUR YOUR CHILDREN? No, no she doesn’t. She’s a young woman doing her job, having a good time doing it, and still finding time to be a teenager. Kudos to Miley for being able to find balance in this world.
But don’t worry, America; perhaps Miley will stop being a normal young girl who does things other normal young girls do. Or, maybe Miley will now do her normal young girl things behind closed doors, feeling like she is misunderstood, feeling like she is wrong, feeling like she is on her own, and feeling ashamed of herself.
Yeah, that sounds like a fantastic idea- it worked so well for Britney…