Sometimes I sit down at my desk and wonder what I'm going to
And then I see photos like this one of Miley Cyrus, taken at her
show in Portugal over the weekend:
Now, this isn't going to a be a "Is Miley Cyrus a good role
model?" post. We all know the answer to that, and it actually has
less to do with her Euro-tour, crotch-grabbing leotard moment than
it does with the the fact that she is an example of the very worst
kind of celebrity: one with little talent, great hair, a famous
parent, and the luck to have ridden a tide of corporate favoritism
through a cresting cultural moment. She is a high-profile exception
to the idea that success takes talent and hard work, something I
think we can all agree is good for kids to come to grips with at
No, instead, I like the question posed by the Washington Post's
celebrity blog: Will Miley Cyrus survive her crossover
Cyrus' newfound sexuality follows her debut
movie role in "The Last Song," a new album, and a very public shift
away from her Disney Channel roots, and WaPo asks whether she can
actually become a legitimate Hollywood talent.
The answer, I think, is no, since at some point, people are
going to realize that she doesn't actually sing or act very well.
But that's neither here nor there.
The interesting implication of Miley spreading her wings is that
the Disney Channel moment has passed.
In the early 2000s, Disney built an empire on the squeaky-clean
personas of Hilary Duff and Raven Anderson. They were funny, cute,
and delivered their lines with enough believability to pass
onscreen. Tweens loved watching them and, what's more, parents
didn't hate watching them. Cha-ching!
Yes, child stars will naturally become young adult stars, and
new young 'uns will be there to replace them (see: The Suite Life
on Deck, Selena Gomez, etc.). But it's my sense that the crowd that
loved Miley and the Jonas Brothers when they were young and
harmless is following them as they shed that image, not looking for
replacements on the Disney Channel's new lineup.
And that's a shame, because in Cyrus' case, shedding that image
often means shedding quite a few clothes, too. And remember, she's
only 17. Also, only marginally talented.
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