So not long ago, teen sensation Miley Cyrus revealed her new video and 'new direction' for Can't Be Tamed. She certainly shouted as loud as she could that she is trying to distance herself from the sugar-pop-sweet-as-pie-Hannah-Montana-persona that she is so famous for.
At age 17 it could be argued that yes she's growing up, experimenting, it's what artists do. This is the trend - Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson - you hit lucky number 17, (18 or 19 depending on your record company but not too old now, 20 is pushing it) and its time to get naked...because of course that's what growing up means, getting naked and dancing erotically; the interview-friendly response is 'exploring my femininity/sexuality and all that jazz.
When did this become the norm and why does it have to be this way? I do sympathise with pop stars in that they are often pulled in a million directions by management and record labels in pursuit of millions, plus they have the burden of being placed in a box, one that sells but is not necessarily their true identity and what they stand for. Yes, Miley is growing up and having the Hannah Montana label is one she has grown out of, however the question is since Hannah Montana gave Miley a legion of fans that were core to her success in the first place, does she still have the responsibility to them in that her songs and image remain 'appropriate'? Ok, some could argue that the 7 or 8 year olds that watched Hannah Montana have grown up with her so its not that bad, however Hannah Montana first aired in 2006 so these 7-8 year olds are still only 11 and 12 years old.
There is the constant debate of the media and other influences in society sexualizing our children but I'm trying to figure out where does the responsibility lie - is it with the artist, the key players in the entertainment industry who push these sexual ideologies or is it with the parents who should control what their children watch, read and listen to? This is not coming from an old prude here, very much the opposite but I sometimes worry about my younger siblings and my future children and whether I'll be able to even allow them to switch on the television at all! Ah, reminiscing about when I was younger....I guess now Steps and S Club 7 don't seem so bad after all.
8 hours ago