Growing up in the limelight
Friends, venture with me, if you will, to the place of preteen angst. For me, I shall envision my Caboodle, stocked with blue mascara and glittery lip gloss; scrunchies of every shade and color; and Doc Martens. Those objects sweep in the memory of my desires to be cool and funny and pretty and smart and older and just a little edgier than my parents liked.
I’m assuming it’s a totally different experience for guys, but I don’t know. You fellas are as complex in your simplicity to me now as you were then. Just check out Kirk Cameron there on the left. Who knew the simple act of one-sleeving it could be so appealing?
Friend drama, boy dilemmas, parent problems — they all seemed so epic. And the lack of any meant I wasn’t important enough, noticed enough, awesome enough. My life hung in the tension of defining who I was in the coolest terms possible, while making sure everyone agreed with my definition. What a painful time. Growing pains are not as fun as Mike Seaver would have you believe.
Thank God my audience at that time was limited to the handful of friends and family who made my universe. But how (potentially) tragic for those whose universe literally spans nations. Like Miley Cyrus.
Cyrus captured tweenies’ hearts as Hannah Montana, a fully clothed, innocent-enough character on the Disney channel. But Disney ushered her into the limelight, much like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. No need to detail that sexy, provocative limelight, which casts more darkness than light.
It seems Cyrus has crossed over, her transition from preteen to woman for all to see. Her image now fits the mold of nearly all Hollywood women … donned in black leather scraps placed together as an outfit, serving up sass and sex appeal in an illusion of power that says “do what you want and you’ll be happy.” The epitome of worldly desires that lead to death and destruction, if you ask me.
For Hollywood celebrities who come of age with a fan base bigger than their parents (hi, mom!), their influence has power. Impressionable viewers see Mike Seaver or Hannah Montana on their favorite show one day and the tabloids the next — though the gossip surrounding each is much different. And, like, 20 years apart. How much damage (or influence) do you think this has?