Sexifying young Hollywood
This is Vanessa Hudgens, one of the teen stars to come out of Disney’s insanely successful High School Musical trilogy.
She’s also the girlfriend of the most lusted after young male star in the world, Zac Efron (he even eclipses Twilight’s Robert Pattinson as the love object du jour), is currently starring in a successful new movie, Bandslam, has a coveted cosmetics contract with Neutrogena and … she has just come through another nude photo scandal.
Yes, another nude photo scandal. Great achievement, non? All by the ripe old age of 20.
A few years ago, when a naked Vanessa first surfaced on the net, she issued a public apology and explained the pictures were taken only for private use (ahem, what sort of private use? They were taken for her boyfriend). She was quickly forgiven and shoved back into the red carpet to hype High School Musical 3.
Such a great role model, don’t you think? Shooting to stardom at a young age, being massively talented, singing and dancing her way to box office glory and having a gorgeous boyfriend and acting and being famous and starring in movies and … taking her clothes off.
This isn’t new. We’ve heard this tired old story before – Pammy, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian amongst others have famously become even more famous after their sex tape scandals and since then, fledgling starlets have been using the sex tape (or even a sex tape rumour works quite well) as a hyped up publicity machine. Yawn.
But this is worse. Much worse. At least Paris has no talent and was therefore, perhaps, putting forth her one and only card. But Vanessa is talented. She can actually be a fully fledged, all round, bona fide celebrity. So why does she still feel the need to strip naked and take photos of herself - TWICE?
If 2008 was the year of young Hollywood drug addiction (Britney, Lindsay, Mischa) then 2009 is forging new ground as the year of the naked teen role model. So far, we’ve seen Vanessa, Rihanna, Ashley Greene (from Twilight) and Cassie (an r ‘n’ b singer and P-Diddy’s girlfriend) lead the way with a slew of nude photos ‘accidentally leaked on the internet’ any porn star would be proud of. Not a week goes by when we don’t see another celebrity’s bits and frankly, it’s getting boring. They’re either particularly stupid or particularly clever and the public is stupid for buying into it.
Ever since we could send picture messages on our mobiles, girls have taken it as a green light to send naughty photos of themselves. Unfortunately, boyfriends (or friends of) have kindly posted them on the internet for everyone to see.
Here’s a few lessons you may want to pass onto your teenage children, if you have any:
1. The internet is public. Everyone can see it. And just ‘cause you trust Mike/Chris/John now, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to in a year (refer to Rihanna for more on this one)
2. Taking photos with anything, your camera, your phone, your laptop and sending them to people can result in said photos being posted on the internet. These may take years to surface, but no doubt will.
3. Taking nude pics of yourself isn’t going to land you a boyfriend. You might land one for two weeks, but it’ll quickly dissipate into nothing more than bedrolling.
It’s not like we’ve always had fantastic role models for impressionable young girls, but when a teenage celebrity is caught with her pants down you’d think there’d be repercussions, wouldn’t you?
I guess when Disney’s other biggest star is 16-year-old Miley Cyrus who, in her last live performance, writhed around on stage in a stripper-inspired dance routine on a pole, the only way is down.
I’m no prude, but I don’t think taking one’s clothes off or acting like a stripper should get you anywhere. Isn’t it just a modern day version of the casting couch? And this isn’t even counting all those d-listers who’ve recently stripped for Playboy: Heidi Montag (a big wannabe from The Hills who timed her Playboy cover with her first live singing gig on Miss Universe and also happens to be a devout Christian. On Playboy. NOT.) and Aubrey O’Day (an even bigger nobody who was the standout on Making the Band 3, a reality show where P Diddy puts together a band).
But the point isn’t how famous they are, how they got there or how incredibly tacky they must be. The point is that these girls are the new role models for every teenage girl watching their shows, stalking the celebrities and wanting their lifestyle. Naked piccies and all. And that’s what’s worrying.
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