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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This article has 204 comments. Post your own now!

SarahM said...
Aug. 10, 2009 at 12:18 am
This was really really good! It bugs me that all these little girls seem to be blind to her sometimes not-so-role-model choices.
Amber1994 said...
Aug. 9, 2009 at 2:04 am
wow! somone who shares my opinion about myley/hannah! except i never really liked her from the start. her name/face is plasterd on everthing, from pens to birthday cards,to kiddie underwear (now thats gross dont you think?)way to go! i really liked this piece. :-)

-please check out my writing and comment-
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm
awww thank you so much! This gives me so much confidence from everyone that commented on my article :) I will def check out your writing which I'm sure is excellent since obviously you have good taste ;)
MrsLovett replied...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm
No Amber, what's gross is Hannah Montanna bras. But I've made my rant.
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