Unfortunately, I've been subjected to the whole Miley Cyrus fiasco with Vanity Fair. If you haven't heard about it, congratulations. I wish I could say the same, but I work with people who have to talk about these things. The one thing I will say for opinion is, while I can understand why having her in a 'revealing' picture is bad, isn't it completely and totally unavoidable? I mean, EVERY SINGLE commercially generated pop-starlet has eventually become... well, trampy. It happened with Britney, Christina, Jessica, and countless other teen cardboard cut-outs. And we all rejoice in saying, "tisk, tisk. Look at that." We can't get enough of these gossipy little "news" stories.
SO... As the pop-stardom age gets lower and lower, isn't the whole Miley Cyrus thing just a symptom. Here's the model for the business:
- Find young, clearskinned person to appeal to youth
- Remove their personality, replace with business savvy
- Mass-Market the new product to the youth through T.V., Movies, Concerts, CD's, Magazines, etc.
- Exploit until 'product' is too old (about 17 or 18), or until a more viable product appears
- Inherently sexualize product, this makes the appeal to children more effective due to burgeoning sex-drives and puberty. It also maintains some amount of public awareness due to the nature of society.
- As product ages (around 18 and 19) it now desires to be an 'individual'. This will destroy product viability. Drop product and pick up younger product.
- This new product will have to be younger than the original when it started because of the growing youth culture that you are trying to reach. Upside? They will be a viable product longer.
Isn't this Miley Cyrus thing just the natural progression? Well, Miley look on the bright side. A few years from now, this will all just be "the beginning" of the end of your career. Enjoy sub-celebrity status and hanging our with Paris.
ANYWAY, the reason I started this rant... Disney was up in arms about the whole photo-shoot. They said that she had been taken advantage of to sell magazines. Really? Well, take a look at this. I would post it here, but frankly, I don't want it on my site and the story is told way better on Slate. Hint: It involves a giant billboard and a twelve year old in undies.
What was that about being taken advantage of?