Duke It Out: Bad Influences

A couple of weeks ago, Miley was voted the worst celeb influence. And while we’ve definitely said some harsh (but true) things about her in the past, I can’t help but have mixed feelings about the tweeny-bopper’s new title. The “influence on young girls” has been tossed around at celebs for decades and I have to wonder if Miley and her various competitions really deserve the rap they’re getting, or if it’s all just hype.

Ok, no argument here; Miley and  does a lot of things that I def wouldn’t want any little sister of mine emulating. Between dating the (much) older guys to the way she dresses, the various and well documented poor decisions with pics and online – the girls just has a knack for acting, well, like a skanky ditz. And if nothing else, Hannah Montana’s literal mountain of merchandise proves that young girls are definitely susceptible to wanting to be like her. Disney has held a reign on her so far (just imagine what she’d do if left to her own devices) but eventually that will end and who knows where that will take her.

But on the other hand, I have to wonder how bad Miley really is, at least in relation to the rest of our culture. Take another former-Disney teen queen for example – Britney. She scandalized with “Baby, One More Time” (I dare you not to get it stuck in your head now!) by wearing a sexy schoolgirl outfit and pigtails. It was an outfit right out of softcore porn and she was immediately labeled as a “bad influence”. Now regardless of how terribly awry Britney’s life went in the subsequent years, the truth is, her in that outfit was the most salacious in the pop world since Maddona rolled around in a wedding dress on the VMAs. And while that schoolgirl outfit might seem tame compared with some of the things Miley has done, take into account that Britney debuted in a world without reality TV, Perez Hilton or, for that matter, the flaming ball of tabloid that was post-“Oops… I Did It Again” Britney. It was easier to get noticed back then, so for tween queens like Miley and her ilk to compete nowadays, it’s not enough just to get up and sing and look sexy – if you want the publicity, you gotta go all the way.

So what do you think? Is Miley really any worse (for the era she lives in) than any of the girls who came before her? Or is it all the same product with slutty new packaging?

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