The stars of Disney can many times be viewed as wholesome idols, especially when wearing purity rings and donating to animal charities. Not everything about them is obscene. What is imperative to understand when analyzing the image that Disney’s stars portray is that they are being obsessed over by young teens and tweens, who are willing to do anything to be just like their favorite Disney gal. The mishaps of these Disney starlets have been exhausted by the media and blogs everywhere, but cage and pole-dancing, drugs, alcohol and stripping may be a quick reminder of where these Disney stars have made their ‘mistakes’. Disney did not always endorse such hypersexual images of their young starlets. (1) Here is a look at some of Disney’s famous faces, pre-corruption. Britney, Christina and Justin used to be the epitome of innocent, cute child stars.
(2) Their popularity soared, their clothes came off and things got raunchy…
Note Justin Timberlake’s reaction after the kiss. He clearly isn’t on the same page as his ex-Mickey Mouse club peers. He gives an obvious look of disapproval. This goes to show that females are targeted as hypersexualizing their image, and that males are left to judge. After this publicity stunt, Christina was heard saying that she was upset Britney got more attention than her as a result of the performance. Clearly, it was a calculated move, just like all the other pushes for more mature, sexual images. Christina and Britney were willing puppets to a larger force advertising the wrong image. It is interesting to compare both clips, because they represent completely different morals and values, but feature the same exact people.
A sad realization is that the icons that the media is developing for tweens today are only getting worse. When I was a tween, ABC dedicated every Friday night to programming geared towards my age group. I am sure there were some negative images being presented towards me, but nothing like what is aired today. The program was called TGIF, and it included shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Matters, Full House and Boy Meets World. There is no comparing Steve Urkel to Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears. It is important to understand the motives behind these messages and mostly, who they are provided by. Who is forcing these teen stars to mature way too early?
(1) oooMERTooo. (2006, August 26). Mickey Mouse Club – (Britney, Justin, Christina). Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emWxQF_uAaM
(2) Zukkarella. (2009, April 16). Like a Virgin – The Legendary Britney and Madonna Kiss. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blVSU7AhVP0