Is that you under there?

by

Hannah Montana Vs. Miley Cyrus

The Disney Channel reaches out to thousands of children and tweens on a daily basis with their sitcoms and original movies. While Disney holds itself to morals and standards through the life lessons they present in their shows, Disney is not as innocent as it seems. In the past there has been rumors that many Disney movies have hidden messages in them. Disney is constantly trying to teach kids to be themselves and follow their dreams. However, some creative heads missed the memo. Hannah Montana has become a worldwide success but, at what cost? The basic plotline of the Disney original series is that a normal tween/teenage girl based in California, disguises herself with the help of a blonde wig and sparkly accessories to accomplish her dream of becoming a rock star. She does this in order to maintain a normal life. However, Disney is sending the message that is ok to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to become rich, famous, and fulfill lifelong dreams. With all the media, magazines, movies and television shows out there children and tweens are already being exposed to the harsh reality and standards of society. It is a problem that Hannah Montana is becoming such a recognizable role model for young children of the future generations.  Through examining both Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus’s lyrics, the differences between the two are evident.

The first verse of Hannah Montana’s song “Rockstar” is a prime example of how impressing others and changing ones true self is the basis for this character.

“Sometimes I walk a little faster
In the school hallway
Just to get next to you
Some days I spend a little extra
Time in the morning
Just to impress you”

The fourth and fifth line into the song is saying that the superficial aspects of life and putting on this “mask” or “cover” is what it takes to be liked or successful.  Do parents know what they are exposing their children too? The last line sums the whole basis of Hannah Montana up; just for show. Disney should be teaching children not how to please others but how to be comfortable in one’s own skin and to be one’s true self. The title of this song implies if a person changes their outer self and conforms to what society deems as beautiful or perfect than they will achieve a high level of status. Let’s face it, life doesn’t work that way.

On the other side of the spectrum there is Miley Cyrus. With her fair share of scandals under her belt, Miley isn’t a good or ideal role model for the same age demographic that Hannah Montana reels in. The problem isn’t so much in her lyrics but more in the visual aspects that are in her music videos. In “Party in the USA” Miley’s choice of clothing is way too provocative for her age and the demographic she is reaching out too. Daisy dukes barely short enough to cover her bottom, a tight tank top that shows of her fit figure and boots fit for an older rock star grace this young star’s body. By having a more suggestive image, Miley Cyrus is serving as a role model in the wrong way.

Both Hannah Montana the character, and Miley Cyrus the real person, are negative role models for the younger generations. Although Disney has a clean, crisp image, Hannah Montana is one of the mistakes they made in creating a character who teaches children the wrong lessons. However, it was a smart move on the business side with all the success and money Hannah Montana has made. Is that the cost society and Disney is willing to take? It looks like it.

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