Billy Ray may have an achy breaky heart over the rumors that 15-year-old daughter, Miley Cyrus, has ‘racy photos’ of herself in her underwear. Let me stop right here to say that even if photos do exist of teen star ‘Hannah Montana’, the only disturbing thing would be those who portray those photos as racy.
There is no problem in these photographs. These are pictures of two normal teenage girls. The only problem lies with those who view these and turn it into a scandal, and a sex scandal at that. Stop me if I’m wrong in making this accusation, but is the media crossing that pedophile line? When my stepdaughter watches tv, there is nothing she wants to watch other than the Disney channel, and I may not be the most overprotective parent… but I don’t see any problem with letting her watch that channel. It is, after all, a channel of clean shows focusing on a clean, young audience.
The actors and actresses on these popular Disney channel shows are, like their innocent audience, children. I can imagine that being a child star is very difficult, constantly being under the media’s attention and worse… forced to be careful of every action because one slip up, no matter how small, could be stretched into a sex scandal.
These are the natural ages for rebellion and experimentation, and rather than being under the watchful eyes of a strict parent these kids are under a much sneakier eye. Could this be what drove one of the Olsen twins into a deadly drug addiction? Could this be what led to the many obvious issues of Britney Spears? The public eye loves disaster, it is only obvious that the public eye may self create its own messes to obsess over until the news is old.
It is no surprise that Jamie Lynn Spears, another Disney channel star, is 16 and pregnant. It is unfortunate, but she is doing the right thing to hold a “teen pregnancy” special on her show. Yet another Disney channel star, Vanessa Hudgens (from Highschool Musical), was involved in a nude photo scandal. Although Vannesa is of ‘legal age’ (19) there is still something disturbing about the reaction to this sexual based attention that these child stars receive.
Referring again to the Olsen sisters, it is true that both twins grew up to be gorgeous women, and the public divided between those who felt like “parents” (who fondly recalled little Michelle from Full House and couldn’t believe how much these actresses have grown) to those who viewed the twins as a sexy matching pair of sexual objects long before they turned 18.
Could this be similar to Britney Spears, who became such a popular hit at a very young age? Much of her popularity can be attributed to her provocative demeanor over talent. So this leads to an age old question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
The public eye and the media both view young celebrities, regardless of age, as sexual objects. Could certain celebrities be using this to their advantage, in order to gain media attention and increase popularity? While this can be debated over and over again, it is clear that it is out of control. A celebrity does not have to act in a sexual way (or anything out of the norm for their age for that matter) and they are always at risk of being caught in an exaggerated sex scandal.
It is clear that sex sells, and some celebrities use this to their advantage until quickly burning out. Others do ‘nothing wrong’, yet are still spotlighted. Clearly the ‘legal age limit’ has not existed for celebrities and media (or public) attention. So this brings up my final question: At what age is ‘celebrity sexuality’ appropriate?