Can you spot the difference?
Disney is known as a harbour of rosy cheeks, fairytale stories, and a fuzzy feeling inside. Mickey Mouse is an iconic character, who might not be as prevalent nowadays, but remains an important piece of childhood for all. Today I want to focus on something associated with this cartoon rodent.
In this particular case, the Mickey Mouse Club. The Mickey Mouse Club was a television series in the United States that offered entertainment for all ages. These Mouseketeers were the idols of everything pure and cutesy. Comedy and music were always without risk of hearing naughty words like ‘bum’, and everyone had a smile.
It’s quite funny when you start looking deeper into this that you notice a pattern. Let me explain.
It was here, in this hub of cheesiness, that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake had their beginnings. These young, innocent and energetic teenagers were the image of what Disney-influenced young people should be like.
Now we can all reflect on what has happened ever since those three first appeared on screen, but the pattern is always the same: When you reach 18, you hit this kind of second puberty.
All those songs about abstinence have ironically become absent. Your twirly flower skirt has become Zumba pants. But most importantly, your life before 18 never happened. Britney Spears did it again, Christina Aguilera got what a girl wants, and Justin Timberlake brought sexy back.
Miley Cyrus, who is the daughter of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’s Billy Ray Cyrus, is best known for playing as an ordinary girl by day (Miley Stewart), and as superstar Hannah Montana after school. Such wild, wacky and kid-friendly antics ensue (from what I gather), so it’s no surprise that Cyrus, now 18 years old, has done the same transformation as her predecessors of the ‘Mouse House’.
Her latest album Can’t Be Tamed is Cyrus’ attempt at a more edgy and slightly raunchy image to her cutesy teenage popstar facade, which seems to have horrifically backfired as fans witness a coming of age in front of their eyes. In one of her songs, she sings about going “through guys like money flying out the hands”. This tamed teenager can no longer be tamed, for she is 18, the age limit of tameability.
What good old-fashioned entertainment is left for your teen child when Cyrus is photographed doing risqué dancing to a Hollywood director?
Much like how Pokemon grasped the world before Digimon, or Mighty Max did before Ben 10, what kids like changes. Harry Potter grew up throughout the books, and for those young teens reading them as they came out, it was a unique experience to read of Harry’s coming of age, albeit with wands and wizards. Like a Sci-Fi convention, except imagination is not necessary.
It would be haunting to see a kid actor not try to escape the past their entire life, and live their lives maintaining the image of innocence and gumdrop buttons. Just know that if Barney the Dinosaur starts getting harassment charges, it’s time to find something new.
Where did it go all wrong?
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