Miley and Hannah: A Lesson for a 7 year old, and a Mom, too

Now before I get going here, let me just say that before the debacle that was the VMA’s Miley and Robin Show, I didn’t know what twerking was.
Gasp! I know. I live in the sticks with my head in the sand. Or something like that.
But then, after the awards show, of course it was all over the place. I felt it was my duty to at least know what the hell people were all like OH. My. God. about.

So I began to watch a little of the video. Wow. I thought that move was something only I did in the privacy of my living room dancing to music. Didn’t realize it had a name.

Nah. I kid. I was pretty grossed out by the whole display just like the rest of the world.

Poor Miley.

And I mean that sincerely. As a parent, I cringed to see a little girl out there shaking her shimmy and wagging her tongue like an amphibian dressed to look like she wasn’t wearing anything. And she still IS a little girl. Regardless of the fact that she has made herself out to be something else.

That brings forth the reason for this post — trying to explain the vast difference between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus to my seven-year old daughter who thinks she wants to grow up and be rock star. Like Miley.

I know the VMAs were like sooo long ago, but I have had several opportunities of late to discuss Miley/Hannah with my own girl. The first one, after she watched an old episode of Hannah Montana, she told me she really liked Hannah Montana. She also thought she wanted be like Miley.

Oh the horror, my darling girl.

I explained that while Miley Cyrus is Hannah Montana because she plays the part, Hannah Montana is nothing like what Miley Cyrus has become. My daughter was confused and asked why.

Here is my answer and I do hope it made a difference with her.

I told her that Miley Cyrus had a lot of young girls looking up to her as her character “Hannah Montana”, that so many of them wanted to be as funny or quirky or silly or talented as Hannah. (And Miley for that matter.) But then I told her that Miley Cyrus grew older and made her decision NOT to be a positive role model for all these girls.

She shaved her head and decided to do some things I think are inappropriate for young girls to see. I told her that Miley is old enough to make her own decision about that (I think that is true) and maybe she might change her mind later. But for right now, I think Miley has probably disappointed a lot of the little girls who used to watch her Disney show.

I waited.

“Oh. Ok. So I can watch Hannah Montana, but not Miley Cyrus?”

It sounds so darn confusing. But that is the gist of it.

The next opportunity I had to discuss the matter was in the check out of the grocery store where Star Magazine or OK! or one of those kinds of magazines blared the head line about Miley and a paternity suit. UGH.

My daughter stared at the cover, pointed to a crazed looking Miley — with a shaved head and blood-red lipstick — and scrunched up her nose. I know it’s not about the paternity suit part because GOD help me, she’s 7.  I can only hope that it was the conversation we had recently about what has happened to a once really sweet little girl.

At this point, I don’t care if my daughter (or son) had talent that surpassed all others in singing, dancing or acting. I would do everything in my power to steer them away from the very short-lived limelight of child stardom and its ramifications.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t think that all child stars are destined for this road. The Harry Potter kids seem to be well-adjusted quasi adults.  But I am old and I have seen enough of them take the wrong road. And because they are kids, who was driving the car? A long debated, hot button issue I am sure.

That brings me to my own personal view: I feel that society builds up these young talented celebrities, puts them on pedestals, and then watches them fall. They are booed at their concerts for being late. Pictures of them drunk and drugged up at bars they are not old enough to get into are snapped and plastered on every glossy magazine there is with “anonymous sources close to them” saying they need help. And then we sit back and point our fingers at them for being train wrecks.

Maybe if we stop doing that, 15 minutes of fame, whatever way it comes, won’t be such a draw for our kiddos.

Yikes.

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3 thoughts on “Miley and Hannah: A Lesson for a 7 year old, and a Mom, too

  1. A very well-thought out post… it is a shame that she has chosen increased record sales over being a good role model. I have two daughters and I hope I taught them better than that. But you were nicer about all this than I was… I did some Photoshop pictures that… never mind… good post.

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