In an interview with Marie Claire, Miley Cyrus reflects upon her time on the Disney show, Hannah Montana. It seems like she doesn’t look back upon that time fondly, recalling how “from the time [she] was 11, it was ‘You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing. … Meanwhile, [she’s] this fragile little girl playing a 16 year old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras.”
Where do we begin? The fact that pop stars must have long blonde hair? Or how an 11 year old was playing a 16 year old? I think we can all agree that 11 year olds, under no circumstance, look like 16 year olds.
More importantly, given that this is a show geared to young girls, what are we saying to girls who don’t look like this? That they aren’t beautiful? That having long blonde hair and being white is the only way to be considered “beautiful”?
She describes in the same interview having her first period on set. She remembers wearing white pants, not being able to leave, crying and begging her mom to “put the tampon in. [She had] to be on set.” We wouldn’t do this to any other 11-year old girl. Why is this kind of treatment allowed for an 11 year old starlet?
Miley states that the show led to anxiety attacks and “hot flashes” and “probably” gave her a case of body dysmorphia. She says she was told what “a girl is supposed to be” and when she wasn’t on the show, she was left confused, stating she asked herself, “Who the f*ck am I?”
For a show based on a star living a double life, that’s certainly a fair, valid question.