Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You Tube Fun and More Miley Cyrus Rants

I always thought Youtube was just a place to get some funny, meaningless videos --- like animal bloopers or something--- but now I've discovered the world of vlogging. And I love, love, love it. I owe this mainly to Feministing's channel (which by the way is awesome!)

One of my favorite finds is Thom Simonson. His videos slant progressive, sarcastic and funny -- all of which I enjoy. Some of my faves have been: "Open Letter to John McCain," "By the balls," & "My life in 6 words." He also does vlogs called "One Fellow's Opinion" and has some doozies there as well, check out "Whores" and "Real Women have Nipples" for some interesting perspectives.

I don't always agree 100% with everything this guy says or does, but he's a thoughtful speaker and funny so I recommend him to anyone who enjoys you-tubing.

Recently, Thom took on the Miley Cyrus debacle and I thought he hit the nail on the head again.

I've been thinking a lot about this issue since my initial post and I'm still mad about how this whole thing is shaking out.

People are SOOOOO upset because Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana looks sexual in this picture. And yeah, the fact that she's 15 and posed like this is crazy messed up (that's a whole 'nother can of worms) but what those people fail to see is that young women are exploited daily (Hello Texas Polygamy ranch where 3 out of 5 teen girls HAVE BEEN or are CURRENTLY pregnant!!!)

I'm so sick of the virgin/whore dichotomy that Disney helps propagate. The Hannah Montana TV show is scrubbed clean of any of the real issues facing teen girls today. Most girls Miley's age are struggling with wanting to look sexually attractive, being interested in sex, being aware that their bodies are no longer child-like etc.

Disney wants to walk this perfect little line where their young female stars are perfectly packaged and consumed. Just a hint of mid-drift baring and just enough PG flirting to get by unnoticed. Look at what Disney has churned out: Spears (both Britney and Jamie), Lindsay Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens, Christina Aguilera and now Miley Cyrus.

All those girls started out "clean." But even in the days of "Hit me baby one more time" and "Genie in a bottle" sex was ALWAYS part of the equation. And sex always will be. Here's the rub... you can only walk that perfect line for so long and then it's a long fall from the 'perfect virginal, beloved superstar' to where Lohan, Spears (x2) and Hudgens are all now. Sure they're careers are still trucking along, but the media has made them pay a price.

How many young Disney girls have made apologies recently? Spears for teenage pregnancy, Hudgens for the nude photo scandal and now Cyrus... I'm sure there's more I'm ignoring. All these young women are cash cows for Disney just as long as they conform to a strict standard of 'just sexual enough but not too sexual' merry-go-round game.

Maybe I don't get it because I've never watched Hannah Montana and I don't have young kids of my own and therefore have no need for child-friendly entertainment but the hypocrisy here is just overwhelming. Slate tackles the issue well... *emphasis mine*

The entire show is a canny celebration of pop culture masquerading as a story about hope and family life. What's most interesting about the scandal that erupted last week is that it's an example of the real dilemmas a 15-year-old celebrity has to navigate—one that will never make it into the plot lines of Hannah Montana. The squeaky-clean teen image that everyone keeps talking about was precisely that: an image created, managed, and assiduously maintained by Miley and her parents, at great cost to the product herself.

PS: If anyone has other you tube channels or vloggers you'd recommend, let me know in comments.


Bianca Reagan said...

Jamie Lynn is a Nickelodeon product, not Disney. Plus, they moved her show to The N, which is now "the network for teens", i.e. 11- and 12-year-olds.

You should watch Hannah Montana. Miley provides the ham in that cheese sandwich of a show.

Tobes said...

OOh good call on Jamie Spears being a Nick kid. Also Christina and Britney's music careers weren't Disney they were Jive or some nonsense... still.... this whole frenzy over those photos smacks of hypocrisy.

Even though they are weird.... WEIRD.

I don't know if I can sit through a whole episode of Hannah Montana. Every time I catch bits of it, I feel annoyed

Sarah said...

Brit and Xtina were on the Mickey Mouse Club though, so yes, they're products of Disney, so to speak.

As for this Miley thing, I think parents are freaking out waaaaaay too much about it, seriously. I was reading some articles about it recently with parents asking what they were supposed to tell their children about the pictures, but i have a better question for these parents: How are your kids seeing these pictures? Are you nine year olds reading Vanity Fair?

Sure, they might see the cover of the magazine in passing at the grocery store, but most kids are not going to put together the picture with the supposed message behind it. Everyone needs to relax and let it go. It's not like she was posing for Maxim or FHM, it was Vanity Fair.