First and foremost, let me start off by saying Happy Hangover Day to all of you who Super Sunday-ed it up a little too hard. I did not watch the game, however, my downstairs neighbors had a party, and from their collective screaming throughout the afternoon I assumed one of two things:
1) It was the most exciting game ever.
2) This year they decided to play with an axe instead of a football.
Anyway, have you guys seen the trailer for Spring Breakers? If you have not, let me apologize in advance. I really don’t want anyone’s week to start off with echoes of James Franco’s voice coursing through their head, sorry.
So when I watched this, my first thought was that it looked like one of those ludicrous, lots of half naked girls, action flicks they release every spring break. Then I realized Spring Breakers is a Harmony Korine film, so while it may contain a large number of jiggly girls in bikinis, it’s also very likely going to be disturbing in some way, because that’s kind of Korine’s MO. Korine, by the way, is not what this post is about. Nor is it about James Franco reaching all new heights of douche-y-ness. I’m far more interested in the outcry over the female cast, two of which, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, are probably best known for being products of the Disney Machine.
On the one hand, I absolutely understand parental outrage when a celebrity whose main audience is preteen girls does something like tweet half nekkid photos of themselves, or twirl around stripper poles, or whatever. But, neither Hudgens nor Gomez are cogs in the Disney machine these days, and neither are teens anymore. They are merely two more young women in a long line of females that left Disney and then began a transformation from good girl to, well, something not quite so vanilla. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are prime examples (and yes, I understand they might not be the best examples, all I’m saying is that this isn’t exactly uncharted territory). Psychologically it makes sense, at least it does to me. How many of us started piling on the makeup and wearing more grownup clothes in high school? The difference is that, 1) these girls go through it publicly, and 2) neither one of them are in high school. Yes they are young, but they are adults, and actresses. Spring Breakers isn’t a drunken night on the town sans under garments, it’s a career choice, and one both probably chose to take in order to establish themselves as capable of playing something other than a high schooler.
The days of Annette Funicello are gone, and very few child stars remain America’s Sweetheart indefinitely (especially in our current culture of loving to see the mighty fall). I understand there are parents that feel young stars have an obligation towards their even younger fans, and therefore are upset about the choice made by Gomez and Hudgens to star in Spring Breakers. But I think the question that needs to be asked is, at what point do these girls get to shed their childhood image and grow up?
I’m curious to hear your opinions.