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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sleepycupid said...
Mar. 20, 2010 at 9:38 am
i like your writing a lot and i feel the same way. i was so obsessed with her i used to try and exactly mimic the outfits she wore on the show. now i look back and think, what was i thinking?-i think, that i thought, i could some day be a teen rock star too- but now reality has set in.
Venus_Queen said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm
Thank you for saying what i have been wanting to but didnt say it!!
ZadaRox101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm
I completely agree. I have to admit, I like Hannah Montana! But yeah, she says she's to old for Disney. So, why is she still with them? And what the deal with "I'm a role model, but I'll take candids in my bra..." Sorry, but she has been off my "role model" list for a loong time!
Kitkat19 said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 11:28 am
i am a big fan of hannah/miley, more hannah. i've seen hannah montana yogurt, toothpaste, toothbrushes, memory sticks, and more. it's ridiculous, but a good (albeit very sleazy) way to market her and make money. it seems bad morally, but i find it rather amusing.
Waterlogged said...
Feb. 27, 2010 at 7:47 am
This was good....
blacktwilightfairy13 said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm
I completely agree with your articel. It was completely normal for everyone to be a fan of Hannah Montana/ MIley Cyrus three years ago when the show started airing. The truth is, she acted like a good person and role model, but I guess later, the fame just went to her head. And if she wanted to get out of the show and Disney, I persoanlly think she could've bowed out with a little more grace and dignity. Hopefully, she'll realize her mistakes and it won't be too late to turn her l... (more »)
darbie said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm
Thank you for being you...
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm
<3 Whenever my self esteem's real low I'll come back to this site... :) Thanks
darbie replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm
hey, anytime!
edwardcullen4always said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm
That was really good. I actually laughed out loud at the part about u cursing disney for puttng miley on cereal. Great Job!
Anna F. said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Wow. You have a very clear voice, and a definite opinion. I've felt the same way about Miley for a long time, but you totally put it into words. Great article!!
live4vball96 said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm
I remember when the first episode of Hannah Montana came out. I loved that show at the time. But then just like you I saw who she really was, what her personality really was outside of disney channel. And now just like you, I can't stand her because everyone is praising her for her show and what a good role model she is, when in truth, she isn't one at all. She is just another girl gone wrong in Hollywood. But no matter how much I don't like her, I still want her to get back on th... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Yes. I mean, true, I am criticizing some of her actions in this article and how they reflect, etc., but this doesn't mean I want her to fail in her life, career, or endeavors. Everyone deserves a happy life and I think she should have one. However, she's been mistreating her role-model position and I think it should stop. Whatever. Who knows? She may yet change for the better
Blooper195 said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm
I remember when hannah montana first appeared. I was in 5th grade when she first started with her career, at first she seemed like a really nice girl to look up to, but all that news feed that was published i turned away from her.
xAllegria said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 7:43 am
Haha...... the last two sentences made me smile. I like your style. Of course, you shouldn't exactly blame her for being so commercialized like this although I do hate her stuff.
dip_stick said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm
good article i was a year younger than you when the young very pretty miley/hanna appered on disney. i also was ubsesed with her. the vanity fair was not her falt yes she and her father and mother had agreement but when your 14 and your parents are saying oh ya its cool its pretty are you really going to make the argument of no this is a bad pic.? althoue if you go to google 2 years after the vanity fair she is takeing bad pictures of her self and that was her falt! rummer is nick jonas put the... (more »)
chick-a-dee-wasaga-3 said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm
I totally disagree with this article. You see all these articles in magazines and scandals, how do you know some articles about Miley aren't true. You can't judge someone if you don't know them. And she can't do little girl shows forever. She is growing up, and everyone has to deal with it. If you compare her to teenagers today, she isn't even close to doing drugs, getting pregnant and other things. And it shouldn't particularly matter who she's dating. Becau... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm
This is true, but I still wish she could have been a better role model to me.
SkarsGirl1 said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm
You are a wonderful writer for being 15 years old. Though I was a tad bit older when the Hannah Montana craze hit I knew at once that Disney had found their new cash cow.
writeforhim said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 11:22 am
I think you did a great job writing this :-) I want to be a journalist/book writer as well and I think you did a really good job keeping your opinion apparent and yet I really don't think you were too harsh, you simply gave your opinion and again you weren't too mean and didn't exactly criticize Miley Cyrus, as much as you did Disney which I completely agree with. I am almost 15 too and I was in 5th grade when Hannah Montana hit and at first I also LOVED the show but got out of it... (more »)
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