Monday, November 3, 2008

Hannah Montana! What?

So I’m sure EVERYONE knows what Hannah Montana is. I mean, how could you not. But just in case you do not, here’s a brief summary…

Miley Stewart is a young girl who lives a double life. She’s a famous pop singer that goes by the name Hannah Montana. To keep her life “normal” she acts puts on a blonde wig when she’s Hannah Montana that way people do not know it is really Miley (yeah I know, a genius story line). The whole show pretty much revolves around the same story line…regular Hannah trying to keep her identity hidden and the crazy antics she and her friends get into during the process.

For some reason tweens are obsessed with this show and everything Hannah. I think it is safe to say you can go anywhere without seeing some sort of Hannah product. And that’s where my post comes in. For my young novel I read one of the Hannah Montana “novels”…Don’t Bet On It. To be sum up the novel, Miley wants to attend a fashion show but needs a ride. She acts her older brother, Jackson, if he would take her. He then takes advantage of Miley needing him but placing a bet with her. If he wins, he no longer has to drive Miley around, if she wins he will continue to take her around. The twist in the story is when Jackson is seen with Hannah Montana and then becomes famous by association. The story then follows the crazy antics Jackson gets into while being “famous” and Miley trying to get a ride.

I have very mixed feelings about the whole Hannah Montana franchise. Hannah could kind of a role model for young girls because she made her dreams come true (being a famous singer) yet she still leads a “normal” life. Also girls can identity with Miley trying to fit in and find who they are. But then it’s hard because Hannah is not being true to her self. It must be hard living two lives as a teenager. The show and novel always revolves around a boy too. Also she reinforces the ideal beauty standard. When she’s famous Hannah she has to put on a blonde wig and change the way she looks.

Then the whole subject of Miley Cyrus comes up. We have all seen what becoming famous at a young age can do to a girl (ie Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears). While what is happening to Miley is the result of our sexualized society and media, it can be very damaging to her. Miley (as do all young actresses) have an opportunity to be a great role models for young girls; they often do not take the route. While girls can identify with Miley and her trying to get a boy to like her, I wish the show and book focused less on boys and more on her. Girls need to know that their lives do not revolve around a boy liking them. If anything the teen years would go by so much better if girls focused more on them rather than boys and trying to look a certain way.

2 comments:

carly mac said...

I definitely agree with you that literature for girls should be less focused on boys. That is one of the complaints I had about the novel I read for this assignment. Girls need to know that they can rely on themselves and other women in their life for support, and they do not always need a man to make them happy. However, in my particular situation I feel that I should learn to practice what I preach. But maybe the reason I am having trouble with relying on myself and my friends instead of a boy is because I read all of this garbage when I was young and it reinforced the idea that I need a man. Hmmmm...

jjillcooldesigner said...

Yeah, the way that Hannah Montana is advertised is so crazy...I find that the stories consistently revolve around boys and dreams in order to relate to girls during that time in their lives. but what makes Hannah so special? There have been numerous other girl stars who haven't hit it as big. It could just be her ridiculously rich father and his ability to pay people to manipulate the media, but either way you throw it, she is huge now. I would like to say that girls admire her confidence and "musical abilities", but I think that it's even more complicated than that...I think that they admire her ability to be seen. They love that they can see inside her secret life and watch her transform herself and succeed. Young girls work so hard to transform their normal home lives to be perfect when they go out. Hannah seems to be the success story that they're trying to find within themselves.