From Disney to Twerking

mcWhen I was around ten years old, my mom decided that my younger sisters and I should not watch the most popular children’s show of the time, Power Rangers. She feared that the violence of the show would make us more likely to be aggressive, especially given the fact that every time she picked us up from school, at least two of the other kids in the class would be kicking each other while shouting slogans from the show. So she made us a deal: we wouldn’t watch Power Rangers, and she would pay an extra fee so we could get the Disney Channel.

At the time, this was a good deal. This was the mid-1990s, just before the advent of the teen star creation machine that Disney Channel became. But as time went on and my younger sisters grew up, my parents began to notice a disturbing trend: all of the young, fresh kids on the Disney Channel turned out to be the worst possible life examples as they got older. Britney Spears morphed from bubble gum-popping kid to jailbait with bare midriff and modified Catholic schoolgirl uniform. Then she collapsed altogether. Lindsey Lohan morphed from the cute kid in The Parent Trap to the disaster area star of The Canyons. Christina Aguilera transformed from the title singer of Mulan to Xtina. Hillary Duff went from Lizzie McGuire to Gossip Girl, where instead of participating in a comic duo with her cartoon self, she participated in a threesome.

And then there’s Miley Cyrus.

Cyrus was the most successful of all of the young Disney Channel stars. Hannah Montana made her a global name, allowing her to overcome the quasi-stigma of her “Achy-Breaky Heart” father. She became a billion dollar industry. And then she did what Disney Channel knew she would and the rest of Hollywood thought she should: she “grew up.”

By “grew up,” Hollywood meant that Miley would have to become a sexually aggressive, pseudo-promiscuous Madonna-slut, gyrating before millions. To make it worse, Miley would have to act out the pathetic sexual fantasies of pedophilic anime. And so she did. On the Video Music Awards this week, Cyrus reached the apex of her crass and unsexy cynicism. She’d already turned her movie career into an exploration of her sexuality (see LOL). She’d already begun tweeting pictures of herself frolicking like a drunk New Orleans college girl. But at the VMA, she went all the way: she popped out of a giant teddy bear, dressed in a onesie with a teddy bear outlining every body party. She stuck out her tongue like some odd sort of pornographic iguana, humped the teddy bear, stuck her face between the buttocks of another bear, touched her privates like a knock-off Michael Jackson, bent down and “twerked” (gyrating the genitals in imitation of sex).

That was for starters.

Then, getting creative, she grabbed a giant foam finger from the crowd, rubbed it across her crotch repeatedly. When Robin Thicke, the singer of “Blurred Lines,” arrived to sing his hit, Cyrus went up to him, rubbed the foam finger across his crotch, leaned forward to nuzzle his ear, and bent over to twerk right at his genital level. It was simulated sex onstage before 10.1 million people.

Even those in the Hollywood crowd were shocked by the level of exhibitionistic vulgarity Cyrus displayed. Will Smith and family (Smith, his wife, and his two children) looked on unamused. Rihanna, no stranger to sexualization, frowned glumly.

But this, said the press, was Cyrus growing up. Yes, she was out of control. Yes, she was perverse. But she had shed her little girl image, and done what Tinseltown demanded: she had gotten sexed up.

Not that Cyrus was forced into it. Cyrus knows where her bread is buttered; there’s a reason she ended up at the top of Maxim’s Top 100 despite being on few men’s wish list. But we live in an era in which entering adulthood means discarding innocence. Sin has become maturation. And that is a devastating message, especially for children.

This is the true danger of Cyrus and those who both preceded her and follow in her footsteps: not that she is any different from Madonna, but that her career path suggests to young girls that growing up means giving themselves away, and that empowerment means debasement. But Cyrus, unlike other women, lives in a world without consequences. She can act like something out of an X-rated funhouse without having to worry about money. She could get pregnant, have the baby, and pay for it to be brought up by others (as so many others in Hollywood have). She has handlers to protect her, press relations gurus to make her seem less unpalatable, and an enormous industry ready to sign her for big bucks for each step she descends on the moral ladder. That’s not true for the millions upon millions of other girls watching thousands scream Miley’s name as she simulates masturbation with a foam finger. There are real consequences for the sort of behavior Miley champions, both spiritual and physical. That’s what adulthood means.

Miley lives in a perennial Never-Neverland created by the industry that needs cannon fodder like her to shock the masses into opening their wallets. She will never need to be an adult. But the girls who watch her will. And if they are shown lies about what adulthood means, they will learn the hard way that adolescent behavior gets punished, not rewarded, in the real world.

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  • PAUL WESTON

    Nicely stated Mr Shapiro. And quite right about the evasion of consequences for the likes of Ms Cyrus. In the real world, sexualised young girls are driving ever higher levels of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Meanwhile the leftist filth who are making big bucks out of their 24 hour-a -day deviancy remain supremely unaffected. Not sure what can be done about this, short of genuine revolution. We are living through the end-times of Western civilisation I’m afraid. The great tragedy is that our civilisation took millennia in the making, but has been destroyed by the perverted left in just a few decades.

    • CowboyUp

      A lot of women (and minorities of all types) don’t realize their freedom and empowerment was spawned from Western civilization, not in spite of it. When they attack Western Civilization, and seek to “fundamentally change” it, they are destroying the very foundations of that freedom and empowerment, and they won’t have it for long. They sure won’t like what happens to women in an end game socialist state or civilizational collapse.

    • wdorrity

      Few of us understand just how fragile our Western civilization has become, and fewer still comprehend the real possibility of a broad civilizational collapse. It’s happened before; it will happen again, as the approximate causes appear to be hardwired into our human nature.

      “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the
      bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is
      that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within.”

      “The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions
      of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.”

      –Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage
      (page 459) – 1935

      The lessons are there – who among us will heed them?

  • defcon 4

    Madonna wasn’t much better — although maybe a bit better at acting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Ferguson/1192578375 Richard Ferguson

      I disagree. Her sex antics were, for a long time, a small part of her act.

      1) Madonna did it first. Whether you approve of her antics or not (and to be clear, I did not), it could not be argued that she was trying to be like someone else.

      2) Madonna did display talent in areas besides “watch me do sex.” Many of her songs were catchy (Dress You Up, Spanish Lullaby) or slow and meaningful (This Used to be My Playground, Live to Tell). Even the weird techno song, Die Another Day, makes sense when you see the beginning of that Bond movie.

      Unfortunately, sex sells and that became what defined her career – and everybody who follows in her footsteps chooses those steps.

  • Area52

    “pornographic iguana” Wowza! I have a sinking feeling that where all this is leading as far as cable TV goes is something a bit more extreme and with regularity. I think Americans are primed for it and a moral critical mass has been reached that will support and fight for it. I hope you know what I’m talking about.

  • Dyer’s Eve

    I love this line: ‘She stuck out her tongue like some odd sort of pornographic iguana’.

    Yes, she’s on the downward spiral that all in Sodom (Tinseltown) slide down. I can’t wait to hear about her forthcoming drug habit. If it doesn’t kill her, we’ll hear her on TV in five years or so weeping about what a useless idiot she became and she will do what all chronic non-achieving failures do: ‘beg for forgiveness’. By then she’ll be penniless and forgotten.

    Enjoy the ride (pun intended), Miley. Your fate awaits you. You WILL learn about consequence!

    • Guest

      i dont agree. i think she has a career, the best is yet to come. dont be naive, things will get worse. there is no line between X rated porn & mainstream media. there are films, & products. rome hasnt fallen-yet.

  • Sharps Rifle

    All that she did was to make up for one glaring fact: She has no talent. Her father was at best a Z-list celebrity who recorded one of the most detested things ever to ooze out of Nashville prior to Brooks and Dunn…what else would we expect from the daughter of Mr. Mullet-head? The apple didn’t fall far from the horse’s rear: The father has no talent, she has no talent. She uses her rather limited charms to add an extra forty-five seconds to her fifteen minutes of fame, which right now has about a minute to go.
    She’ll end up doing “Playboy” in a couple years, and then she’ll be a memory. Bluntly, this whole incident is small potatoes.

  • jtrollla

    Twerk. Rhymes with jerk. Perhaps this is not a coincidence?

  • OceanGram

    Surely the truth being told and consciousness being brought to light quicker will have an effect on all this …exposure of illness and naming what is happening…can it minimize? God help our parents and children who do have morals

  • CowboyUp

    “…they will learn the hard way that adolescent behavior gets punished, not rewarded, in the real world.”
    Unfortunately, the dp and too many Republicans have rigged it so that irresponsible behavior is rewarded, and responsible behavior punished by the government. That situation is unsustainable and can’t last. It won’t, because once people have ceded enough responsibility, the government will assert the freedom and power it gained (and the individuals lost) in assuming those responsibilities and lower the boom on behavior it deems harmful to itself.

  • Marylou

    And where are her parents now? Probably hiding under the furniture. That’s sure where I would be.

  • bluffcreek1967

    What are you all angry about? The moral decadence and societal corruption that we’re swimming in is exactly what most Americans wanted. Time after time, when Americans had a chance to reverse the direction we were headed, we chose not to or put up only a half-hearted effort, Most of us were asleep or preoccupied with TV and sports. Like the frog in the kettle, we didn’t recognize the danger we were in until it was too late.

    http://www.ambrosekane.com

    • Howard

      It is inevitable now that we go to the bottom. The big question is whether we bounce. When our wealth and power and influence are taken from us, what will hold the US together? The brute force of petty tyrants? Or perhaps nothing at all?///

    • ziggy zoggy

      God won’t help us. We’re dead.

    • RecklessProcess

      This is not what most Americans ‘wanted’. This is what the perverse left wing ‘wants’. This isn’t freedom and it is irresponsible.

      • bluffcreek1967

        I’m not so sure about that. They may not have understood the implications of what they morally permitted nor the cultural changes that were occurring, but once it arrived, they did little to forcefully oppose it. Some did, no doubt, but most of us rolled over and went back to sleep. I’m afraid that most Americans have still not awakened from their slumber.

  • Gamal

    Don’t blame it all on the industry, the industry does it because that’s what impresses teenage girls. That’s who they want to watch in concert. They want to be cool and cool is not letting parental rules interfere with their lives which means rebellion against them and if Miley does that she’s an admirable girl from their point of view. Also MIley’s at fault here too. She wants the buckos and the admiration and knows how to get it.

  • Biff Henderson

    It’s catching on…