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March 17, 2011

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Melissa May

Alexandra, Thanks for this great post. What you're saying is an extension of what I got out of the Billy Ray Cyrus interview...take these kids for everything they're worth, no matter what it costs the child in the end.

As I mentioned in the comments of my post, my one hope is that now that Billy Ray Cyrus has spoken up and vehemently called out the industry (and himself) for it's failures, that it will open the eyes of the parents and loved ones of potential child/teen stars and make them think twice about what they're willing to sacrifice in the name of "success" (and I'm using the term "success" very loosely).

In the meantime, we can refuse to play a part in these child star's destruction. We can stop watching their shows, stop buying their merchandise and do what you did Alexandra, and make it painfully clear to our daughters and sons just what Hollywood does to it's young: Destroys them for it's own entertainment.

AlexandraFoley

Thanks, Melissa. You are so right. And thanks especially for pointing out the article to me. It's all so sad.

I also realize I need to give props to my 15 year-old niece who was the first one to make the point to me (yes, she is 25 years my junior!) that all these Hollywood stars are having their virtue commodified and that the whole industry is a racket. It's nice to see that some of the youth aren't being duped by this corruption.

Dori Price

My husband always points out that making money is about supply and demand. Hollywood supplies what our culture and society demands. We are like rats in a cage--our behaviors, likes and dislikes are studied, watched, polled, tracked, surveyed, etc. to give marketers an edge on what to feed us. And sadder yet, we follow along mindlessly feeding into the frenzy, which becomes a vicious cycle churning out products like Miley Cyrus. We are a relativism society. "What is good for one may not be good for another but that doesn't mean that it is bad--to each his own" has become the motto of our culture. And so we sit here discussing another young "starlet" who has been affected by our culture's seedy, immoral, sex driven appetite. Yes, these people make choices, and their actions have consequences but our society cannot stand back and take no responsibility for what we see daily through the media.

And while I'm thinking out loud here, I have to make the point that we introduced the word "tolerance" a few years ago, and now any lifestyle, any fast living, any choice one makes even to the detriment of one's life (abortion) has become the norm and has infiltrated every channel of information across our nation not to exclude across our world. But God forbid we speak out against these things because then we are perpetrating "hate" speech, which now holds a penalty by law. Our position on modesty, morality, or right living are thought of as archaic and ironically not "tolerated" by the watchdogs of our society. What are we doing? Our moral fabric has become so worn and frayed that it reminds me of a child's blanket that has been used and used and used and is now so thin that one can see through its very fibers. Sobering.

My point is simple and underlines what Melissa said above: we have to stop demanding the product and the supply will decrease.

Victoria

Ms. Alexandra, your article is fairly insightful and their is some truth to the writing. Although i see you've made a point on virginity here. Would you agree that being a "virgin" means a young lady is a "good girl" and if she's not then she is bad? I feel as if an underlying message is a girl or woman's worth is her sexual status. I understand the message is to promote values, but is virginity the standard for morals? Or do intellect, ethics, compassion and doing what's right are no longer given light to? I have trouble believing a woman's true goodness is derived from her virginity. Chances are i may not recieve a reply, but just a thought.

AlexandraFoley

I am certainly not saying that a woman's goodness can be reduced to her chastity, as there are many other virtues that a woman (and a man) should strive for. That said, the impact that chastity (that is, rightly ordered sexual desire) has on other virtues is an interesting question--perhaps a topic for another day. For instance, if we are using our bodies to seek pleasure from every man in in our path, is it likely that we will be excel in other virtues such as justice, patience, charity, and wisdom? Perhaps there is a chicken or egg issue here.

But the main point in my post is not that I am fixating on virginity, but that the marketers and handlers of young pop stars ARE, every time they cynically attempt to exploit and commodify their clients' sexual innocence. They are the ones who cash in on a young girl's maidenhood when she has it, and they are the ones who cash in when she loses it. It is curious that no other virtue is more exploited by such marketers. No one, for instance, seemed to care much about whether Britney Spears was just or unjust, compassionate or unfeeling, wise or foolish. They reduced her to one variable and then won no matter which way she turned.

Thanks for the comment.

jubilee

This may sound 'unrealistic' but I wonder if these girls will rebel against the mess they put themselves in----I'm beginning to see teen boys and girls together, and they don't even hold hands anymore--I have an eagle eye for that--the feminists convinced young girls to drive the boys in their cars, etc. and be aggresive sexually --I'm hoping that cuter clothes like long below the knee skirts would become the 'uniform' for teens instead of the skanky and the sloppy clothes--maybe something more feminine

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