Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why I hate Hannah Montana

Why do I hate Hanna Montana? It has nothing to do with the semi-nude pictures of her, trashy as they were.

The other day, I was in the store looking for a night light. My eldest daughter has an intense fear of the dark and what I really wanted was a regular off-white night light that has an on/off switch; not one of those flicker-in-the-near-darkness jobs. Naturally, the kind I wanted was sold out however long ago and no one knew when a new order for them would go in. But they did have the Hannah Montana night light.

They also had the Hannah Montana flashlight. And stool. And three different beach towels. And MP3 player. The Hannah Montana pajamas. The tote bag with accessories and blond wig. The charm bracelet. A Hannah Montana leather watch (in pink, purple, and black). The beauty set. Guitar. Cell phone case. Anti-static pink hairbrush. The sheet set. Umbrella. The Hannah Montana birthday cake edible image. Tatoos. Wii and DS games. Thank you notes. Drapes. Tooth-tunes (those tooth brushes that let you hear music through your teeth while brushing). 166 different books (no lie). Pencils, car decals, purses, nightgowns, panties.

All of them with the girl's face on them.

Strike that. She's not a girl; she's a product. She's Barbie. She's Pepsi. She's Coke. She's a living nightmare.

Who wants their face on a stool? Who wants a stool with someone's face on it? Why do all these products claim to have anything to do with "girl power" when all they are doing is packaging what it is to be a girl and selling the image, thus stereotyping and perpetuating what marketers feel it should be like to be a girl?

The show is about how great it is to be a "regular girl" and a "star." Yet all it does is reinforce the privilege and wonderment of what it is to be rich and famous. Hanna has a desirable life not because she is a regular girl, but because she can choose to be a regular girl or a superstar. Yet the reality is that she and her parents have let her become such an over-exposed product that there is nothing left about her that is human. She is an icon of an image and she is what every girl wants to be.

I think there's a problem when we all start dreaming the same dream. Especially when that dream is unchecked by any sort of ethics or limitations. Hannah shows children that selling out is awesome, that having your face on a bar of soap is cool, that you should put your image on every available product, that shopping provides meaning to your life. Is this what we want our daughters to grow up thinking?

Do we want our daughters to see us all clamoring for $100+ tickets to see a fifteen year old lip sync?

I'm glad that I don't have TV. I can't imagine going to WalMart or Target and having my kids beg for the bananas with her face on the sticker or the phone with her face on it, ad infinitum. We live in a world where ads and product licensing has gone insane.

The Buddha said that life is suffering and that it is such because of misplaced desires. Hannah Montana gives our daughters a lot of misplaced desires--not just toys in her image, but every imaginable product--and this trains them to be forever in the indentured servitude of the corporate machine.

Call me alarmist. But I'm sick of it.

28 comments:

Jennifer Chernoff said...

Ahhh! This post reminds me of when I lived in Portland and was a retail worker. I probably heard a similar rant every other day. I love Portland. :D

The kids have admittedly watched HM at least once. Mostly for my own curiosity. After only seeing her one time though-my 4 yr old boy who isn't a regular "talker" is at the store shouting "Haka!" I'm like wha... *look down* Ooohh... HM sleeping bag. Time to turn the TV off. :/

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree with you more. people at disney should be ashamed of themselves for indoctrinating another generation of young girls with the idea that they must be skinny, famous, rich, blonde, popular rock stars. Sure, they've got sales goals, but why not put that marketing machine behind a positive role model? Sally LaValley, mountain biking extraordinaire? Tina Katrina, sculptress and problem-solving prodigy? Whatever. Disney is smart enough to figure out something that is both positive and marketable.

Their minds are sponges. Tell them it's cool, and --magic-- suddenly mountain biking, painting, math, soccer, can all be cool. Our girls need real role models. Today.

Best of both worlds, right?

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree with you more. people at disney should be ashamed of themselves for indoctrinating another generation of young girls with the idea that they must be skinny, famous, rich, blonde, popular rock stars. Sure, they've got sales goals, but why not put that marketing machine behind a positive role model? Sally LaValley, mountain biking extraordinaire? Tina Katrina, sculptress and problem-solving prodigy? Whatever. Disney is smart enough to figure out something that is both positive and marketable.

Their minds are sponges. Tell them it's cool, and --magic-- suddenly mountain biking, painting, math, soccer, can all be cool. Our girls need real role models. Today.

Best of both worlds, right?

Anonymous said...

It the free enterprise system and people make what they can make money on. I have no doubt that if someone wanted to put your kids face on a stool and you stood to make a million bucks, you would be all for it. She hit the jackpot and striking while the iron is hot. Hey, here's some advice, don't buy the crap if you don't like it, but don't deny a beautiful young girl and her family an what they can get in this democracy. Kobe Bryant makes $20,000,000 for shooting a basketball, what the difference?

Sol Smith said...

Well, Anonymous, there's a big difference. First off, making 20m for shooting baskets is silly, but it is a skill and it's a skill that can land big money into the pockets of rich people. Kobe is old enough to understand the ramifications of his actions.

No, by the way. No way in hell would I take a million dollars to put my daughter's head on a stool that is going to be sold to young girls all over the country. Some people have standards of humanity. Money doesn't rule everything.

And money doesn't justify everything, either. Saying "Well, they're making money, so it's okay" is a universal justification of the weak-minded who believe that anything that makes money is somehow a sanctioned act. To "strike while the iron is hot" in selling your daughter to the highest bidder--well, there's lots of ways we can sell our daughters aren't there?

Money may be the god who rules your world. Some of us don't put a god ahead of our families.

Sol Smith said...

Besides, there's a difference between being famous and being a product. Famous people get that way because they have done something that has either inspired or horrified people. Products are molded and marketed to look like famous people for the expressed intent of making money.

Anonymous said...

I tottaly agree she is horrible and a lipsinger she is a bad rolemodel

Dwayne Charrington said...

Ah, this is a good post and pretty much sums up the points in my Miley Cyrus angst hate list.

I mean come on, what's next? Hannah Montana pregnancy tests? Hannah Montana condoms? Hannah Montana ecstacy tablets? All with her face on them of course.

If anyone is interested in viewing my Miley Cyrus (Aka. Hannah Montana hate list) check it out: http://probablysucks.com/10-reasons-why-miley-cyrus-sucks/

Nice post, I'll be back for sure.

Cherryse said...

I would love to buy my granddaughter clothes without that saccharine face or somebody else's name on them! What is the deal with these guys? If I wanted to advertise for some lame character (product), I would require THEM to pay ME for it.

Anonymous said...

I also can't stand Hannah Montana. I work at a major toy store and every other product designed for girls has her face on it. Either that or High School Musical. After a year and a half of it, I really don't think I can take it anymore. My daughter is five and until last Saturday, was unable to watch it because we didn't have satellite or cable. Now I'm afraid that I'm going to have to deal with Hannah at home, too. Ughh...

World Changer Seeking Adventure said...

you hit it right on the bulls eye.

HSM & Hannah Montana:

the worst production that disney has ever created. it's an infection. it's so over-done, IT'S NOT EVEN ACTING. the actors aren't even talented. it's sickening! you see it EVERY WHERE!!

(don't even get me started on high school musical; my rant could be a book!)

miley cyrus is a product. she's not even a role-model. why do all these girls love her shitty music & her crappy show?? WHAT has she done for them?? NOTHING!! she shouldn't even be considered someone you can look up to for young girls.

Melanie said...

I couldn't have said this any better myself. She represents everything that pisses me off about our society today, and it is good to know that I am no longer the only person alive who HATES Hannah Montana.

Anonymous said...

YES!!!!!! U ROCK, DUDE!!! i couldn't agree more! Down with Hannah Montanna!!

Shay said...

Oh my god!
I have been saying this forever!

Instead of just having a tv show, she has to become a singer, then make a lame movie, then have every thing you can think of in the world! These are a few things i seem while in a store about 15 minutes ago for only a couple of minutes!

Her clothing line
Blankets/towels
Dolls
Jewelery
Diary
Coloring books
Folding Chairs
Video games (a rip off of Guitar hero)
Perfume
Makeup
!CEILING FANS!
!UMBRELLAS!
!TRADING CARDS!
!POPCORN!
!CEREAL!
half of this stuff is ridculous.
Where ever i go i see her stuff everywhere.
I cant get away from her.
She screwed herself over and is going to be known as Hannah Montana for the rest of her life.
She's never going to get better than that, and probably get on drugs and end up pregnant, due to the amount of half naked pictures she has on the internet.

Its ridiculoussss

Anonymous said...

I seriously get your point. I mean I tried to be supportive of her at first (yes, I admit I was a fan of her) but there are so many things about her that keep popping up that is now annoying like I keep hearing her songs in a commerical for cryin out loud! And that whole story about you finding so many Hannah accessories, that's kind of creepy when I picture it. Like, it's okay if you're living with someone atleast when you turn around you can actually not see them anymore, but it's another if you see that person everywhere you go, then it's just annoying. I really think the whole celebrity thing has gone to her head. In the show, I noticed she was beginning to act alot more spoiled than ever! The show itself has no lesson in any episode. Like there was one where this guy Oliver had diabetes and it was supposed to be a serious episode but now I know why parents banned it first. And do you know why? Because the issue wasn't taken seriously!!! I'm pretty sure there are some shows today that have atleast one serious episode and the issue is taken seriously. I know atleast one. Plus, all of these news about her pictures I'm really getting tired of. It just shows she's not taking any responsibility for what she does. When she takes the pictures, they may be private, but being who she is, she should know that her privacy WILL be invaded but even after the recent scandal it's like she'll never learn! If it were me in her position I would've kept myself away from my own camera for fear that my pictures would be discovered. And then I hear news about her biography that she's made. First of all, she's only been in the entertaining business for not even 5 years! Why the hell would she be making a biography NOW?! If she were 30 or almost 50, then I would understand, but 16? Come on! And she says her days as a kid was horrible because she was picked on and it appears she makes it so serious in her biography according to one article. But so was I, and I've let the fact that I was bullied go! She's already said before that she was bullied why put in the biography? Then, she talks about a heart condition where it's not that serious, it can just hurt sometimes. I get that too sometimes randomly, so what? Even worse, she must've made this biography while dating that 20 year old Justin because it's stupid that she actually mentions Nick Jonas in there, according to the article I read, saying he's her "prince charming" and doesn't understand why he broke up with her. Cut me a break!!! She's dating someone else and is still thinking about Nick Jonas? What's the point of her dating that guy if she's still thinking about her ex?! I think she's trying to make him jealous. And also, I read once that she wanted to leave her parents and live in an apartment or something to experience life on her own or something like that. You're rich and famous, what's the difference where you're living? If I were Billy Ray, now would be a perfect time to actually make her come to her senses. Like seriously, there are many celebrities, outside of Disney, who are actually way better than she is and I hate that people go crazy over her concerts. Like, they make her tour into a movie and not just any movie - a 3D movie! That's just about enough! I bet in a few years from now she'll go crazy and have some mental breakdown because people still think of her as only Hannah Montana.

Basically now, I have said how I felt about this whole Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana thing.

Anonymous said...

I seriously get your point. I mean I tried to be supportive of her at first (yes, I admit I was a fan of her) but there are so many things about her that keep popping up that is now annoying like I keep hearing her songs in a commerical for cryin out loud! And that whole story about you finding so many Hannah accessories, that's kind of creepy when I picture it. Like, it's okay if you're living with someone atleast when you turn around you can actually not see them anymore, but it's another if you see that person everywhere you go, then it's just annoying. I really think the whole celebrity thing has gone to her head. In the show, I noticed she was beginning to act alot more spoiled than ever! The show itself has no lesson in any episode. Like there was one where this guy Oliver had diabetes and it was supposed to be a serious episode but now I know why parents banned it first. And do you know why? Because the issue wasn't taken seriously!!! I'm pretty sure there are some shows today that have atleast one serious episode and the issue is taken seriously. I know atleast one. Plus, all of these news about her pictures I'm really getting tired of. It just shows she's not taking any responsibility for what she does. When she takes the pictures, they may be private, but being who she is, she should know that her privacy WILL be invaded but even after the recent scandal it's like she'll never learn! If it were me in her position I would've kept myself away from my own camera for fear that my pictures would be discovered. And then I hear news about her biography that she's made. First of all, she's only been in the entertaining business for not even 5 years! Why the hell would she be making a biography NOW?! If she were 30 or almost 50, then I would understand, but 16? Come on! And she says her days as a kid was horrible because she was picked on and it appears she makes it so serious in her biography according to one article. But so was I, and I've let the fact that I was bullied go! She's already said before that she was bullied why put in the biography? Then, she talks about a heart condition where it's not that serious, it can just hurt sometimes. I get that too sometimes randomly, so what? Even worse, she must've made this biography while dating that 20 year old Justin because it's stupid that she actually mentions Nick Jonas in there, according to the article I read, saying he's her "prince charming" and doesn't understand why he broke up with her. Cut me a break!!! She's dating someone else and is still thinking about Nick Jonas? What's the point of her dating that guy if she's still thinking about her ex?! I think she's trying to make him jealous. And also, I read once that she wanted to leave her parents and live in an apartment or something to experience life on her own or something like that. You're rich and famous, what's the difference where you're living? If I were Billy Ray, now would be a perfect time to actually make her come to her senses. Like seriously, there are many celebrities, outside of Disney, who are actually way better than she is and I hate that people go crazy over her concerts. Like, they make her tour into a movie and not just any movie - a 3D movie! That's just about enough! I bet in a few years from now she'll go crazy and have some mental breakdown because people still think of her as only Hannah Montana.

Basically now, I have said how I felt about this whole Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana thing.

Aaron said...

You sir, are my idol now. I have seen her show once (I am a 14 year-old guy) and I almost stabbed myself. She is a terrible actor, and she is TOO much of an influence on everyone. Disney needs to pull her off the air, but they won't do that because she is probably one of the highest rated shows. I say Disney in general needs to get pulled.

Anonymous said...

you know, not every girl likes hsm/hm. im a girl. i cant stand the chick. and hsm well the first one was just shy of okay, but then they made such a big deal out of it.hm is just.....URG!!!! i hate her. jonas brothers, they are another problem, acting as though any girl who doesnt fall all over them has something wrong in her head. i am 15 and i cant stand any of them

Anonymous said...

Well I don't think it's really her fault that her face is on everything; she's just popular.

But I do understand what you're saying.

I'm 14 and honestly, I love her music and show. But I was never in to having items with a stars face on them, except posters.

I think she just isn't sure how to handle everything being thrown at her. Maybe it's to much and she needs to take a break.

She started out as a good role model but is starting to make bad choices.

Maybe her parents just need to put a hold on her career.

But then again, she's JUST BEING A TEEN.

Sol Smith said...

I guess you miss which is the chicken and which is the egg here, Anon. Her face isn't on everything because she's popular, she's popular because her face is on everything. She is a product being pedaled, a money making industry. She's not just some musician with a lot of record sales, she's a manufactured icon, the Cabage Patch Kids of her day.

And she is not just being a teen. She is anything but just being a teen.

And her parents do have a hold of her career; they're the ones authorizing the product prostitution of her.

She's a sad, sad story, and most people just miss it because they're so willing to see what the media shows them as real.

Sakuragold6 said...

I agree Sol, HM has gone too far. The girl is disgrace. I could write an entire book about how much I hate her. She isn't a person, she's a product. The girl has serious issues and should locked up in rehab.

Islay Sinclair said...

Miley Cyrus will be depleated by 2011. We will have overused her and she will be snorting stuff off her 'BBFS' Demi and Selena. As soon as I saw her 'sweet' face I knew we had another Britney on our hands.
Heck I grew up in the era of Spice Girls and Hilary Duff. They faded. Baby nobody knows were Hilary is now.
Frankly I agree that having someone else's name on a shirt is stupid. I'd rather pay twenty extra bucks to find a plain white t-shirt than fork over five bucks for overrated garbage.
We need to encourage people to be creative and themselves, not this whole 'I'm just like you'. Like hell you are. Regular people won't inherit $25 million from a trust fund because they got thier face on underpants.
Ya that's right underpants. I went to buy some ketchup the other day at the store and in the clothing aisle what did I find? Miley Cyrus' face plastered over the privates of today's youth. There was only one pair left. Sweetie she's like a porn star, overused and once she starts getting bags under her eyes because she's forgotten to get her assiatant to pick up her $300 mosterizer, she'll be out.
And don't say I'm jelous, why would I be jelous of her? I'm going to make my own name not by how well I spread my legs and pole dance on national TV, but my my ablities and talents.
I'm going to write novels and no one is going to care how I look, they're going to say I'm talented. They won't care about my looks or if my face is on a banana (and you all know which kind I mean), all you people are going to say that girl's got a brain.
Now who's jelous? Miley's wishing she could get the highest English mark in the grade without bribing the teacher.
Let's all be people not sheep.

Anonymous said...

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Rachat de credit said...

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Anonymous said...

Who posted this article because I would love to give them a piece of my mind in PERSON, AND TELL THEM THAT IF YOU AIN'T RICH THEN YOUR FREAKING OPINION ISN'T WORTH A DAMN ESPECIALLY TO THE FANS OF HANNAH MONTANA/MILEY CYRUS AND HER FAMILY. SO WHOEVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE BETTER BACK OFF OR I WILL BECOME A COP AND FIND YOU BECAUSE I AM A FAN OF HANNAH MONTANA AND MILEY CYRUS AND A FAN OF HER FAMILY STARS ARE EXACTLY LIKE YOU AND ME AND TRY TO BECOME A STAR AND YOU'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM UNLESS YOU ARE A CHICKEN (BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK)THOSE ARE HOW CHICKEN TALKS OR WHEN THEY ARE AFRAID OF SOMETHING.

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE AFTER BLOG OWNER APPROVAL WHAT A JOKE WHO EVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE ISN'T GOING TO BE SAVED AND VISIBLE THOSE WEBSITES SHOULD STOP ALLOWING AND ALLOW FREEEEEEEE SPPPPEEEEEEECCCCCCHHHHH NO MATTER WHAT. I AM A FAN OF HANNAH MONTANA AND MILEY CYRUS STILL EVEN AFTER THOSE RACY PHOTOS OF HER IMAGINE YOU WERE A STAR EXACTLY HER AND WANTED TO GET OUT OF THE ROLE THAT MADE YOU FAMOUS. AND WHO EVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE OR BLOG ABOUT HOW BAD HANNAH MONTANA/MILEY CYRUS AND HER FAMILY IS NEEDS TO GO FUCK THEMSELVES.

Sol Smith said...

It's funny to her a comment daring me to come out in the open by someone who posts under the veil of internet anonymity. Look into the site, you will find that I am very open with who I am, Anon.

I'd love to try my hand at being a star. You handing out tickets? I am certain That I could handle fame and money without making myself miserable and making my daughters mass-produced object of a poisonous culture. That's because I have the wisdom to take care of myself and those I love before looking at the money involved. Money is not my God. It cannot corrupt me because I grant it no power.

Thanks for your input. As a fan, you should know that you don't need to put blinders on, you don't need to make excuses for the rich or allowances for their foolishness. You should take a critical loom at your heroes and your culture and not be afraid to question everything. You don't need to be a soldier in their army, offering up your money that you work for so that they can make fools of themselves. And you should have the wisdom to choose happiness over indulgence.

Thanks for reading. Come by my office any time if you want to talk to me in person.

Anonymous said...

I am a really weird kid for reading this kind of stuff but anyway I just wanted to say how I remember before I went to ecot an online school I use to be in Ryland hights elemetary school and I always felt so akward for everything I did (Note:Ryland is a school about nothing but going RA RA RA all the time) but anyway I started trying to watch Hannah Montana and other things just to fit in with everyone else because I had no friends but I really didn't like the show it was so annoying and the jokes were flat it didn't make me laugh I just felt really weird but I only watched it to fit in because I was desprete for a friend but now I relize this is just stupid so thats all I have to say and sorry if my spellings bad now I'm going back to watching anime and having some indian food and I mean India.