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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hanny81292 said...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Let me ask you something, if you had the opprotunity as a child to become a disney star would you not have taken it? and if when that kicked off you had they opprotunity to branch out into your own artist would you not have taken that either?

Miley Cyrus recieved the opprotunity of a life time and took it, and every single one of us would have as well. now to my point, the reason that Miley, Britteny, Linsday, and Jamie Lynn all turned out they way they did is because it is not healthy... (more »)

Mmbusch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm
Right, I see your point. 
BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm
I would turn it down. I don't care about fame or money for it's own sake. I want to change the world by helping people who need help.
ohheyyyelli replied...
Aug. 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Maybe now, you wouldn't take the opportunity, because you're older and mature, but what about when you were much younger? Ask almost any young child if they want to act and sing on their own Disney show, and they won't decline.

Also, performing is her passion. Would you turn down an opportunity to pursue you're passion?

Sorry, I'm feeling very debate-y tonight.

Carly M. said...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm
I really like this article. I also really like that the picture is of Owl City.
Sunshine445 said...
May 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm


Of course she can make mistakes. I'm sure you've made just as many mistakes as her, but hers are more exaggerated because she's more well known than you are. Get off your high horse and understand that 18 is still very young, and that she's allowed to make a mistake or two. In my opinion,she's trashy and she's getting the wrong kind of attention, but it's the job of parents to protect their kids from this stuff, and otherwise, it isn't polluting anyones mind, so why th... (more »)

Mmbusch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Well, I appreciate your friendly concern but fortunately I am on no high horse. I wish you could meet me, though, and understand that I am not a pretentious person that slews out criticism on people I've never met. 

I'm merely giving my opinion in the most artistic way I can. Miley Cyrus has made herself a public figure and as such she incurs the result of her fame, which is that she will be judged and talked about, particularly when she corrupts her former role-model image to my ... (more »)

Ramsha S. replied...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I agree with Mmbusch. She should be even more careful with her choice of clothing and aware that millions of girls worldwide view her as a role model.

And by that age, teens know very well what people should wear (or how much in her case) and the consequences of their actions. We're not little kids, we know exactly what we're doing. 

PurpleNerd said...
May 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm
Hey! Great work that's so cool that you show your attitude through your work. I'm also 15 and have put some poetry on this website as well. If you want to talk just look up PurpleNerd. I'd be glad to see how well this has benifited you in wanting to become a journalist. Good luck with all you do.
GetKnockedDown said...
May 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Let the girl do her. As with anything- If you don't like it, stay away from it. Shes beautiful and  I bet she gets some damn good coke, so if you don't like it why don't you all become famous and make a better example of America. She's a teen just like us after all, embrase it.

And as you wanting to be a Journalist thats awsome, Our generation of America needs some great, open eyed, painfully honest writers to represent us. But don't get sucked into cliques like writing about Disn... (more »)

BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm
If people just ignore everything that is wrong in the world then human civilization would collapse under the weight of its own evil. Would you ignore murder or rape? Sure these things are much more terrible than the whole mily cyrus thing, but I beleive in principles. If I give up my principles because I think that it won't hurt anyone this time then next I'll give up that much easier.
.iloveyou. said...
May 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

"But everyone grows up, and odds are that if they come from Disney, they end up in Vegas." 

That is too funny. Great way to end a paper. :)

Smurfy_Liebe said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Amen!!! I completely agree!!
AfterLife said...
Apr. 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm
that is true how she went down hill like that. I use to like her myself but then that stuff happen. Okay she changed and grow up cool so have I. then she lost it plus the Media didn't help. and your going to be a great Jounalist CONGRAS on that.
rockstardream said...
Apr. 20, 2011 at 11:21 am
It's sad really, how her career has taken a complete U-Turn for the worst! I was in 4th grade when she hit it big, and I was a totally devoted obsessed fan. When the Hannah Montana 3D Concert Experience came out (of course being a huge fan I went to see it), in our local newspaper, someone had published a movie review. Being the fan that I was, it was Hannah Memorobelia, so of course I saved it. The other day I found this newspaper article, and read over it. A particular sentence that stood... (more »)
leafy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm
hannah montana was uber-popular when i was in 3rd-5th grade and i never really liked her. frankly, it kinda confused me why people would like her acting and music, i cringe almost every time i hear it. and about you article, i think its pretty good! i hope you continue your hope as a journalist and end up being one! (btw have you ever been to the newseum in d.c.? you might be interested considering your career choice)
Mary said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm
Thank you for sharing this artical! it was very, very well writen :) i am not a Hannah Montana fan (and never have been), i completely agree with you! Keep up the good work! Don't ever give up on your dream! You can be a Journalist! You've got the talent. you've proven that!
Tbug1997 said...
Feb. 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Miley Cyrus well lets see i dont hate her music wise she was a good role model before she became a lil well... trashy
xMeadowx said...
Feb. 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm
She does need to choose whether she wants to move on from Disney or stick with them. But honestly, with a career so big, do you think she meant for those photos to get out? She hasn't exactly given off any sign to me personally that she's gone off the deep end like a lot of the Disney stars but she's getting there...Great aritcle, by the way. I love it.  
michealangelo said...
Feb. 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm
She needs to understand that little girls look up to her.  If she did, she wouldn't be doing all the things she is.  And if she does know and just doesn't care, then she doesn't deserve a cent of all the money given to her by Disney, a KID'S COMPANY.  She's none to smart, in my opinion.
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