I do not have any children. I love kids, especially when they’re doing awesome stuff like all of this, but I am really unsure I ever want to have one. This is especially true of a daughter. Raising a daughter has always been difficult for men – trying to allow them to make their own decisions when you know damn well what that handsy, earring-wearing pervert she brought home is thinking about EVERY SINGLE SECOND must be excruciating. Beyond just the personal reasons, society goes to great lengths to make it even more difficult. As girls grow up, they are bombarded with piss poor messages and role models. And in case you were wondering, Disney Corporation, yes I am looking squarely at you right now. *makes serious face, points index and middle finger to eyes, then points them aggressively in the general direction of Orlando, Florida*
Over the past fifteen years, Disney has cycled through three waves of female stars. In doing so, they’ve created a perpetual whoredom machine that benefits no one but virile males. Each wave has played out unsurprisingly similar. Step 1: a cattle call is put to young girls with pushy stageparents. Step 2: they are cast based on looks, sending the message that individual worth is based on the superficial. Step 3: they are glammed up an uncomfortable distance from their 18th birthday. Step 4: profit. Step 5: no longer wanting to be seen as a child act, they push their sexuality with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face.
So, parents of the world, want to know why your daughters dress slutty and date douchebags like the teenage version of me? A walk through history will show that Disney is a pretty good place to pin the blame.
Britney was one of the original members of Disney’s revamped “Mickey Mouse Club.” Cute as a button with a serviceable voice, Britney was often front and center. When the Club disbanded, many of its members (including Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, below) went off to continue pursuing their entertainment careers elsewhere. Then in 1998, at the age of sixteen, Britney burst back onto the scene in a midriff-baring Catholic schoolgirl uniform. Despite very clearly pushing her sexuality, Britney and her handlers played coy, doing a tricky dance playing up her virginity while having her pose for pictures standing in her bedroom wearing only underwear. You know, virgin stuff. It was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped.
And drop it did. Her breathy, sweaty video for “I’m a Slave 4 U” was ten pounds of sex in an eight pound bag. A 19-year old me was pleased to no end by this video – the only downside being that this was pre-YouTube. A nation of the aforementioned virile males was forced to hurriedly try to climax within the videos three minutes and twenty-three seconds, lest we be interrupted by schmucks of the era like Fred Durst or the be-eyebrowringed lead singer of Staind.
In 2004, Britney discovered her love of marriage. It was so strong, she got married twice that year. First, to a childhood friend in Las Vegas, in a spur of the moment ceremony that lasted longer than the marriage itself. Then later, to Kevin Federline, a faux-urban douche of such magnitude he makes Film Drunk’s version of Channing Tatum look like Film Drunk’s version of Ryan Gosling. But surely marriage and children would make an honest woman of Britney, providing the stability she needed to grow into a grounded, mature member of society…
Like Britney, Christina Aguilera was an original member of the new “Mickey Mouse Club.” With the voice of a heavyset, middle-aged black woman in the body of a little girl, she was clearly more talented than Britney from early on. Despite this, she always played second fiddle. Britney got more face time as a kid, had her album released first, got more attention from the media, and more adoration of males both young and wispily-mustachioed old. All factors that, while hard for a young girl to deal with, would certainly not have the type of repercussions that would cause Christina to become overtly sexual and crass in an attempt to get people to notice her…
Christi – I’m sorry, XTina, released a music video for “Dirty” (off the album of the same name, in case you were unclear as to her sincerity) that made skanks blowing hobos on urine-soaked subway platforms step back and say, “Whoa. Easy, honey.” In doing so she taught a nation of girls the lesson that, if another girl is more popular than you, you can always just be whorier than her to get people to notice you.
Once Britney and Christina grew up and out, Disney realized it had a winning formula. Next step, reload: this time with a freckled redhead and a smiley blonde.
Lindsay Lohan was introduced to the world in The Parent Trap, playing the dual role made famous by Hayley Mills forty year earlier. All red hair, freckles, and cute smile, she was groomed to be one of Disney’s next big stars. Like those before her, she was packaged as an actor/singer/lunchbox-model dynamo that could hawk Disney’s wares to children across multiple mediums. Furthermore, they would not hypersexualize her at a young age, instead having her star in safe Disney products, like made-for-TV movies, or the latest in the Herbie series. Everything was fool proof, provided she didn’t have some sort of destructive attitude or a trainwreck-where-both-trains-were-carrying-nukes-at-the-time kind of personal life.
Spoiler alert: she totally did. So much so that the most difficult part of this feature was choosing which picture of her to run here. (The second most difficult part: explaining to authorities why my search history was littered with entries like, “‘britney spears’ + ‘christina aguilera’ + mousketeer + slutty,” and I had a fridge full of wine coolers. What? They’re refreshing.) Lindsay’s litany of issues culminated in her recently being sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating her probation stemming from a drunk driving conviction. The sentence may result in a delay to her next project, where she plays porn star Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat fame.
To repeat, her impending jail time is conflicting with her film portrayal of a woman whose sole claim to fame is swallowing penises whole.
Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.
Hilary Duff was Disney’s other iron in the fire in the early-to-mid 2000s. Blonde, dimpled, and impossibly cute (*sips wine cooler*), she was tapped as the lead for the Disney Channel television show “Lizzie McGuire.” Duff starred on the show for two seasons, as well as the full length movie, before branching out to music and other films. Even then, most of her projects remained teen friendly (films like A Cinderella Story and songs with idiotic titles only teenagers could stomach like “So Yesterday”). As with all teen stars, though, she began to struggle with the desire to be taken seriously. And as we all know, “being taken seriously” is a synonym for “acting more like a trollop whilst being videotaped.” Cut to this scene, from the film War, Inc.
Wait a second. That’s not so bad. I mean, sure, her midriff is exposed – but even respectable, classy girls wear less than that to the beach. And yeah, holding a scorpion in her hand is a little edgy, but it’s not like she’s going to drop it down the front of her pants and writhe around while lustily biting her bottom lip or anythi…
Once Lohan and Duff broke out of the stable, it was time to bring about two new starlets. This time Disney struck gold with the female lead in a teen musical juggernaut, and the daughter of a country music one-hit wonder. Surely, this would turn out better, with the girls avoiding scandal and blossoming into positive role models for young women everywhere.
High School Musical was a bit of an unexpected hit for Disney. They’ve produced dozens of made-for-TV movies aimed at tweens, usually starring their already marketable talent (like Duff or Lohan, in years past). For reasons that relatively sane, adult males like me will never understand, this movie blew up. Like, Twilight-style blew up. Disney rushed out a sequel to spoon feed viewers more of the storyline featuring the innocent, virginal lovebirds played by Zac Efron and Ms. Hudgens. Because of the hurried production, she didn’t have the time or motivation to accept some racy movie role, as the sequels were her golden goose. So everything was hunky-dory.
I really need to stop forgetting this stuff.
Hudgens’ private leaked photos, including lingerie and full frontal, were splashed all over the Internet in 2007. She has been just one of the increasing number of young female celebrities (Rihanna, Cassie, Ashley Greene, etc.) who have emailed naughty, full frontal pictures (happy Googling!) to their respective boyfriends only to have them end up in front of millions of Internet-savvy perverts, like me and this awesome Asian kid.
If I ever have a daughter, I would have to murder that kid. It would break my heart.
Disney’s next big schoolbag and Trapper Keeper cover model was Miley Cyrus, star of the Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana.” Between being the daughter of a country star (sic) and starting the show at age fourteen, Miley grew up in the limelight as much as, if not more than, Disney’s previous stars. The show’s popularity led to an uber-sellout Hannah Montana performance tour before Miley embarked on her own musical career. Blah blah blah, this picture:
You might be asking yourselves, “What in the world was a 16-year old girl doing on a stripper pole at the American Music Awards?” Evidently, grindin’. Still just seventeen, Miley has posed mostly unclothed in a Vanity Fair spread with her father (EXCLAMATION POINT), dated a 21-year old underwear model when she was fifteen, released a racy video for her new single “Can’t Be Tamed,” and simulated making out with a female backup dancer while performing the same song on “Britain’s Got Talent.” But she’s totally not trying to be slutty, so don’t worry world!
All this is to say two things: first, as a single male in his 20s with no children, I’ve gladly reaped the benefits of all of this – both the naughty pictures and videos of the stars and the naughty attitude it instilled in some of the girls in my peer group. It may make me a terrible person, but so do a lot of other things.
Second, I pray to multiple gods every day that if I have a daughter, she’ll be an awkward, unattractive nerd. Yes, I’m aware of the horrible double standard at play. A boy who sleeps around is the man, and a girl who does so is a whore. It’s completely unfair. And I don’t want any part of it.