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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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 »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm
haha! I love long, appreciative, and insightful comments! Thank you :)
notebookgirl said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 8:24 am
I agree that miley has become more of a marketing symbol than a singer to a lot of people, and I think that's really sad becasue she could have had a great career, but now everyone is so annoyed by her that I don't see that happening
Emely J. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm
FINALLY, someone agrees!!!!!!!!!! God Bless You! Don't worry about anything, you are an AMAZING writer. When you become a famous journalist, don't forget us little people! LOL!!!!!!
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Haha. You got it
SportyZo77 said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm
all, im gonna say is that i agree and disagree.
irawr said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:17 am
I agree my mother works at wall-mart so often spend allot of time there and hanna Montana is pretty much every wear to clothing to singing dolls.
mclean34 replied...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm
A lot, a lot, most people think it's one word but it's not.
MeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm
i'm sorry- icoukd finidh this article- i couldn't stand to. she was a normal girl , (yes with a famous daddy- big deal) when she audtioned for the role of hannah montanna on a disney tv show- she auditioned for her dream with the sull support of her dad.
(hey- in your comment on you article, didn;t you say you father encouraged you to try journalism?)
and then yes- she grew up and became a big star. how do you even know she wanted to do that exposing photo shoot? and what... (more »)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm
No, you aren't rude. Everyone has different opinions and I appreciate you sharing yours. Nothing's necessarily wrong with a tattoo but in my opinion a 17-year old teen star getting one right under her boob gives off a bad image. In my article I never specifically talked about the Annie Leibowitz photo shoot but if she didn't want to do it I'm sure she wouldn't have... Yes, she is a girl that went for her dream and is one of the very lucky few to have achieved it. But... (more »)
MeWhoMustNotBeNamed replied...
Jan. 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm
Yea- i guess ur right. the last paragraph kind of made amends to what stopped me from finishing your article in the first place. I cant say i agree with ur opinion any more than i used to- but i guess everyone can have one as long as it's no too judgmental
ps- thanks for the comp. on my screen name
that waa supposed do be a bunny but i think it kinda looks like a fail-whale
Totty123 said...
Dec. 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm
I do agree with her. well not completely though. i do think she needs to be more of a role model but i think her music as miley cyrus is better than hannah montana. her show has gotten better but she did a stupid photo shoot without clothes, then she got a tatoo. i know it is for someone she met in a hospital but there are other ways to expres how you feel about that person.
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm
I know, right? Yea, the tattoo kind of surprised me...
Totty123 replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm
Yeah, that goes a little too far
~MidnightAngel~ replied...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I don't like Hanna Montana. But I do think that people critasize her to much. She's growing up. Deal with it. Who cares if she gets a tatoo? I  agree with most of this article, so please don't think that I'm critasizing it. I like it alot:)! But I do think that it is redicules for people to get so obsesed with someone that if, god forbid, she gets a tatoo or has a picture(that if I might add was completly harmless as opposed to what the media would have had you think) that'... (more »)

Ash_K said...
Dec. 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm
I loved your article about Hannah. I am not too fond of her myself, to tell you the truth. Oh and if you want to be a journalist... by all means go for it. i want to be one too and I am looking forward to learning about different styles of writing. To keep things interesting, of course. Good Luck & God Bless :)
Margaret B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm
Aww thanks!
nikkichic said...
Dec. 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm
oh my god ur sooo right hannah montana is like a stalker or something because anywhere and evrywhere i go there she is, plastered on whatever companys product that can afford to use her face i mean...seriously?
Emely J. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm
ChelseaChelsea said...
Dec. 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm
I love this! I too fell into the Hannah Montana phenomenon when I was in 5th grade. Miley is giving up on becoming the little role model Disney is wanting her to be, and yes, people grow up, but Disney needs to lay off. There are so many talented kids that could also work for the mouse.
P.S. Adam Young is the best!
BrielleM replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm
:) Haha. Yep. Adam is amazing...sorry Margaret B. for spamming your article...I love him and I can't not say it :)
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