So, is Disney behind some sort of female-child-star to slutty*-pop-star transition vehicle?
Miley Cyrus, goes bonkers and starts twerking (NEW FAVORITE WORD!). The world is outraged, the right blames it on feminism, everybody’s talking at her (she don’t hear a word they’re saying– only the echoes of her mind). Meanwhile Miley laughs all the way to the bank. Is this the new Miley? Or is she still just the same cuddly kid who wears pajamas with feet in them at home, but now putting on an act to get some attention (there is no bad publicity, my friends).
Who cares, really?
The point here is that this is (to a paranoid mind such as my own) a common pattern with little girls under contract with Disney.
Annette Funicello was a Mickey Mouse club girl in the 50’s (pre-color TV, your grandparents loved it). When she got older, she was still under contract with Disney, and some folks at MGM wanted to team her up with Frankie Avalon in a sort of a (to quote George Carlin) “sex bed bikini virgin surf beachball bash” series of films, with such titles as “Beach Blanket Bingo“, “Muscle Beach Party”, and the best-picture oscar nominated “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini”. Disney farmed her out to MGM to “adultify” her image (she wasn’t making Disney money wearing the mouse ears anymore), under the condition that the bikinis in question not reveal too much skin (she was still nominally associated with the then ‘wholesome’ Disney brand).
Voila! Child star becomes sex-symbol (to a degree limited by wholesomeness and 60s mores).
The Mickey Mouse club went into cryogenic sleep after the 50s; but few things from Disney truly die (just ask Walt’s head). Fast forward 40-50 years and we have the MM club making a return with Britney Spears (M-I-C— See you real soon!), Christine Aguilera (K-E-Y— Why? because we like you!) and, subsequently, Hanna Montana/Miley.
Once again, Disney has 3 aging female child properties (that is, after all, what they are) on its hands and needs to keep them relevant. Why not slut them up? BS, CA and HM/MC all went slutty on us. Beaver shots from automobile exit behaviors notwithstanding, it’s strange that the main exit strategy for all of these child stars was to “go wild”. The saddest thing I can comment on about that is that such a vehicle seems to be an escape from a trap suffered by female stars, not male ones.
It’s not restricted to Disney– the Jackson family seems to reacquire relevancy through similar mechanisms; but it does seem that there is a madness to the method.
*BTW, I do not use the term “slut” judgmentally. It is merely the image that whoever is managing Ms. Cyrus wishes to project (whether it is her, her agent, her family, an image factory like Disney, etc.). I have no puerile interest in the young lady’s sexual proclivities at all, but no one can deny that someone is trying to project an image of her that is tied to such an interest if someone has it. Whether Ms. Cyrus actually is or not, the implication of her new image is slutty.
I do not judge, I assess.