Sunday, March 08, 2009

Renewing Role Models

Are today’s tween starlets fit to play the role of role model?

Little girls everywhere look up to them! Images of Miley, Vanessa, Taylor, Jamie Lynn and Rhianna rule internet blog sites, covers of InTouch, the big screen, and Much Music. But are these young starlets adequate role models for impressionable young girls, or are they just like everyone else but with their every move scrutinized by the media?
Disney churns out more child stars than we can keep count of and their latest dog and pony show , boasts two of today’s most beloved characters: Vanessa Hudgens and Miley Cyrus. The craze that is Hannah Montana and High School Musical isn’t just fanfare for North American tweens, it’s global. But after all the smoke and mirrors we are left with two young girls, growing up in the spotlight, publicly making mistake after mistake, for other young girls to emulate. First of course there was the notorious cell phone picture scandal featuring none other than Vanessa Hudgens, posing in lingerie, which made the rounds from Page Six to Perez Hilton. And it seems like a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear a story about precious 16 year old Miley Cyrus! From her inappropriate relationship with a 21 year old male model, sexy photo’s, racist photos, and ‘racy’ cover shoots… she is the cover girl for tabloid fodder. "The photography of Miley Cyrus and other individuals slanting their eyes currently circulating the Internet is offensive ... and sets a terrible example for her many young fans," the OCA statement reads. Oh, she’s just being Miley. But she doesn’t take this criticism laying down."I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new `BAD GIRL'!" she wrote. "I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on! Lucky me!"
But nothing has really compared to Nickelodeon star Jamie Lynn Spears. Her family is no stranger to controversy, and she took the spotlight off of her big sis last year, when Ok Magazine’s cover story featured the 16 year old girl with the headline ‘I’m Pregnant’. Mother’s everywhere tried to shield the eyes of their offspring while standing in lines at supermarkets! Oh the horror, how could the star of Zoey 101 do this to us! And last but not least there is ‘good girl gone bad’ Rhianna. She was one of the well behaved angels for so long, but now rumors are circulating that she and her alleged abusive boyfriend are reconciling. This just might be the worst one for the kiddies to hear about! But how much emphasis can be placed on these young girls? Are they not still growing up themselves? Or because of their successes should they be extra careful because of their ‘role model’ positions in life?
Every generation has its role models. It’s become more and more evident that the lives of celebrities are no longer secret and the more we know about them, the more there is to talk about. Everyone has skeletons in their closet but because of constant media coverage of every little move they make, their skeletons are splashed all over the internet and on the cover of tabloid magazines. And parents just don’t like it. But they had they had controversial role models too! For them it was hell raiser Elvis, or the hard partying Rolling Stones. For me it was the Sid and Nancy of the 90’s, heroin addict Kurt Cobain and lead singer of Hole Courtney Love. But for this slew of young ladies it happens to be overtly sexual young girls.
Alas experts say that it comes down to good old fashion parenting. According to Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights told Pop Tarts, "In Hollywood nowadays, we just hear so much about going in and out of rehab, having multiple babies to different fathers and their lack of responsibility. We hope that most young people can admire Hollywood stars for their talents but filter out these negative influences and turn to other people in their community as more positive role models."
Parents also have to take responsibility for instilling values and morals in their children. They are after all the ones that are raising them, not Miley and Vanessa.

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