My Ex-Teen Icon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

July 21, 2009
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The other day I was walking down the aisle of my neighborhood Super Walmart, desperately scanning the shelves for Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds. To my dismay and shock, there were none. I turned to leave when suddenly I came face to face with my mortal enemy: Hannah Montana. There she was, staring into space as though a crisp hundred dollar bill was dangling from a fishing pole before her.

“Hannah Montana cereal,” I muttered, cursing Disney. But I suppose I should have known better. Did I honestly expect Disney not to cash in on every opportunity to plaster Miley Cyrus's face onto products? It was as if Disney had been shipping off Hannah Montana stickers to every manufacturer with the note, “Use these at your discretion; they'll make anything sell.” Because why wouldn't I want to buy a product if a chick in a wig is telling me to?

I was a sixth grader when the Hannah Montana phenomenon landed on our planet. My friends and I became obsessed with the show, to the point that we made our own music videos and memorized the title of every episode. When I was in seventh grade, this success grabbed the attention of those out of range of Disney Channel's hypnotron, and Miley Cyrus slowly but surely approached the teen audience, eager and cautious.

It was fine, it was all fine. No one expected her to stay young forever, she had a career to worry about and pressure to be cool among her own peers. But as the reports of tasteless photos appeared, I stopped staring with a blind eye. Who was this girl I looked up to? I was the same age this “role model” was when she started running off the track, and I had never done anything remotely like that.

So now, whenever I walk into a store, I feel betrayed by my ex-teen icon. Her very image screams “Look at me! I may act trashy and dim, but as long as I'm not caught pulling a Winona Ryder, Disney will continue paying me a gazillion bucks!” I wish I could say to her, “Be a role model or stop putting on that wig to reap all the benefits.”

I'm not as cynical as I seem though. I hope Miley takes the right path. I hope she doesn't become the next Britney. Or Lindsay. Or Jamie Lynn. But everyone grows up, and odds are that if they come from Disney, they end up in Vegas. And I don't appreciate Miley trying to persuade me to buy her bicycle.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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mimisunshine said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm
Im getting TIRED of MILEY CYRUS cuz every where u go its miley miley shes such a brat no wonder her parents marrige is in the ditch cuz of her conceded self thinking she should be in the middle of attention. SHES GETTING OLD and her show hannah montana need to be UPDATED its basically the same thing over and over
Jessica330 said...
Dec. 13, 2009 at 9:43 pm
I read this in the Teen Ink magazine and couldn't help but feeling the same way. In fact this piece actually helped inspire my most recent piece that I submitted to Teen Ink. The name of the piece is What has happened? in case you wanted to check it out. I love this piece and I think you have a talent of capturing the reader and making them relate to you. Keep writing for the wolds sake if not for yours.
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm
This is so sweet. Thank you so much because so many times I feel like I can't write and it's comments like this that keep me on my game. I will definitely check out your article.
oceansblue17 said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm
yea i totally agree. i rele hope she doesn't end up like britney or lindsay or jamie lynn, but rele the truth is, she's a disney kid and the chances are she will turn. its sadd i used 2 look up 2 her.
GirlFromSpace said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm
I so agree, And your gonna make a heck of a columnist. I loved Hannah when she was new. I could never relate to her, except for the dream all of us go through, the dream to be a popstar... Then I saw how the girl treated everyone in real life off the Hannah Montana set. And then came the pictures. It disgusted me. And It bothers me still that Disney sucks profits off the brat while other girls, better, nicer, more mature girls wanted this role, and others actually deserve it. Something else that... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm
Thankyou, and yes--Miley Cyrus was recently named worst celebrity influence among a teenage poll.
(sorry I don't know the source)
Rosenquartz replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm
I SAW THAT! It was on Justsoyouknow .com !
Lizzy33 said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 10:02 am
I like this peice and what i am going to say is my OPINION you can have yours and i can have mine so don't say i am wrong. Yes half of our country is sluty but that's because our ROLE Modles are sluty so miley may have had a good run but dancing on a stripper pole or wearing practicly nothing is saying it's ok to dress like this kids to six year olds . YES her MUSIC is ok but her show is the same thing over and over agian yes it's supposed to be funny but it'r really... (more »)
photographer_author_artist_lover said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm
So true! And this goes for all celebs who are role models for young children and know it. They need to portray the right message for them and not go become a porn star or flash everyone on live tv. What is that saying to her fans? Especially the young ones who want to follow in her foosteps? The young generation can't afford any more corruption.
MrsLovett said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Wow this article is so true. I'm 14 and you're probably guessing that I too was once obsessed with Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montanna. But no. By the time MC was the 'it girl' I was already the whole teen idol image. When I was a teeny bopper, the teen idols were good. Hilary was a little bit of a rebel, but other than that she was better than MC. I could look up to her and say 'Wow, I want to be just like her when I grow up.' Can a person say that for Miley? Yes and no. Yes because little four year o... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm
No, not at all! It's nice to hear different opinions and you didn't make me cry so that's good! Haha that's what I was most afraid of when I submitted this article.
Good opinions!
reginalove said...
Nov. 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm
I so agree with you! I only sometimes like miley cyrus because a lot of things she does is somewhat inappriate for the role model of millions of little girls. The photos were racy for "Hannah Montana". They were inappropriate and anyone that tries to tell me otherwise is just as tasteless as she is. Miley should look at the example she is setting for these little girls. The pictures, her outfits nowadays are beyond inappropriate, and her dating that 20 something year old doesn't help. Look at he... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm
Aw, thank you! I loved this comment--it made me laugh. The part about being "just as tasteless as she is" was really funny.
tnty said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm
I'm a mother of a 12 year old girl who believes that "Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana are not the same person". lol She is aware that Miley Cyrus plays the character of Hannah Montana but it some warped way she feels they are two different people. She says that she likes Hannah Montana but she doesn't like Miley Cyrus. She My problem is she wants EVERYTHING that has Hannah Montana on it and I want her to like someone else. I don't know what direction to point her in, thou... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm
I look up to Anne Hathaway because she overcame depression as a teenager without medication.
I look up to Audrey Hepburn because she survived WWII while living in Europe and helped children in need till her dying day.
I look up to Hayden Panettiere because she fights for a good cause and is one of the few child actors that is down to Earth.
Mostly I look up to people that embody class. I look up to people I know, too.
I can't admire Miley Cyrus.
Maybe you... (more »)
TigerLynn said...
Oct. 6, 2009 at 8:52 pm
I think your writing is really good; especially the beginning, it was a good lead. But I disagree with your actual topic. Hannah/Miley is a GOOD role model, yeah she makes mistakes but don't we all? That photo was not RAUNCHY as you so hastily described it. It only showed her bare back. If that's what constitutes raunchyness, be prepared to realize that half this country is raunchy, including you, probably. Have some understanding and compassion for the girl you once loved so deeply! ... (more »)
sandraa replied...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm
i agree. her pictures weren't racy.... vanessa hudgen's pictures were. and its true that a lot of teenage girls are... well... kinda slutty to some extent. i know my friends are a bit. and miley isn't perfect. no one should expect her to be.
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm
Yea, I definitely should not have used 'raunchy' in my article. I realized that after submitting it and I'm actually relieved someone else noticed it was a poor word choice.
Electricity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm
amazing, I agree. I too role my eyes whenever I see Hanna Montana or any other Disney channel stars. It's inane, that channel. The shows have zero meaning, and every one of the actors/actresses are horrid at acting.
sandra replied...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm
roll ur eyes....
and the reason the shows have zero meaning is because they are supposed to have zero meaning. they're comedy shows you know... not really supposed to have a ton of meaning..
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