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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Kelz1141 said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm
Though I am 100% not a fan of Miley Cyrus I still have to disagree with this article. I do not think she is trashy, she is just being a normal kid. Kids make mistakes, even the famous ones.
WiseChild replied...
Dec. 11, 2010 at 6:37 am
you have missed ny point entirely. 'she still depends on adults entirley'???? why? the teenage years are the times when you stop depending on your parents and begin to think for yourself, which she clearly isn't doing. and i have known younger children who act more mature than she does. anyway, according to your logic, if she does live with her parents and depend on them then what are they doing all this time?????? shouldn't they be dooing they're job and advising her or plain saying no??? tell ... (more »)
Kelz1141 replied...
Dec. 11, 2010 at 9:34 am
Exactly, my point is that it is her parents job to guide her through this "celebrity world". It is an adult industry is has entered into and many of the "choices" she has made has not been hers. Do you think she choosesx to have her face on the cereal box? No, her manager, the cereal company, and her parents decide. Also, you say that since she she is a teenager she should begin to think for herself, well that is what teenagers do. They BEGIN to think for themselves. I mean just because you tunr... (more »)
WiseChild replied...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:01 am
It hardly seems as if she is thinking at all. cause if she was, she would learn from her mistakes.
Kelz1141 replied...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm
Okay, let's see you go out and be a celebrity and not make mistakes.
WiseChild replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 9:02 am
you never know, keep watching your TV screen and you might see me there. and when u see me there you will see a big difference between me and her.
blondy said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 11:45 am
i think that is right when they get in the spot light they think they can do anything and get away with it 
xAllegria said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 6:29 am
I feel so sorry for teen stars... they have so much pressure on them not to do what anyone their age would normally do. It's not anyone's fault, really, but it's too bad people hate them for not being the role models they're not even ready to become.
InkDance replied...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 6:49 am
It's not that we're expecting them to be the perfect role's that we prefer not to have pole dancers (yes, she did do it for her shows, there's been pictures) trying to endorse kids' cereal. 
brkarcher said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 9:02 am
Yeah, I TOTALLY agree. After a little while of being famous she decided to "turn" into something. She became very, um...trashy? I guess.
thoughtfulsoul said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 9:05 pm

You are a good writer! It was witty yet very opinionated. Excellent job!


SunnySummers said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

   This really had nothing to do with growing up. Many people grow up without becoming the way Miley is today. I do pray that she takes the right path. In fact, I pray that all of those celebrities either get back on track or stay on the right track, if they're already on it.

   Unfortunately, most celebrities feel that they need to do whatever it is that they're told in order to keep their fame, like the role models they've chosen to follow have done.more »)

DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 6:29 am
I know, right. I used to appreciate Hannah Montana, and knew all her lyrics by heart, but then she decided to 'grow up'....I wish she'd stayed thirteen.
Lexi L. said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm

you remind me so much of me! I'm the same age, am an aspiring journalist and sport the same attitude as you. excellent writing job! : )


Emma.M. said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm
I <3 honey bunches of oats too!!! i eat it every morning. it's so expensive though.
ThisBreRulezYouSonnn said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm
awww, dude... i was so excited about the show ending and then they sprung 'hannah montana forever' on us. when i walk through the clothes departments in walmart, i'm scared to touch her clothes cuz i think that her hoochie-momma-ness wud leak onto me.
myworld10 said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I'm so happy that after this season, that Hannah Montana will be over for good. Like her much better as just "Miley".

..btw, i think you'd make an excellent journalist. I think you got the talent. Keep practicing.

TheDreamWriter said...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm
I totaaly agree with you. i WOULD LIKE IT A LOT MORE IF I DIDN'T SEE HANNAH MONTANA EVERYWHERE!  i used to love miley cyrus but now shes my ex tten icon.
justwannabeme said...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm
haha. i love this piece. and i hate hannah montana. she ruiined my name...(hannah) :) haha. and i hope you go far in your journalism. you seem to be very good at writing. keep it up!!! :) checkout my work?? i need feedback...:)
myworld10 replied...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm
i'VE READ Every poem of yours, jsutwannabeme, I luv everyone of them.
samyo6 said...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm
"To my dismay and shock there were none"  I had to stop reading and laugh for a little bit, :P
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