Inappropriate for Young Girls

“The fact that it’s happened shouldn’t be at all surprising. After all, it’s just the way things are in the music industry. Sadly, a host of parents who thought they were doing the safe thing are learning otherwise. Even sadder, the great majority of people will notice, but not care.”  Walt Mueller, founder of the Center for Parent / Youth Understanding, writes this in his blog.

“This time it’s Miley Cyrus, a 17-year-old (not even legally an adult) who has chosen to walk the path to pop music sustainability by going through an almost overnight transformation. It’s not an original move. It’s a path that’s been followed many times before. . . . and, it works. Now, one must wonder what effect Miley’s makeover will have on the values, attitudes, and behaviors of a host of elementary-aged kids who watched and adored her and her every move.”

Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and a host of other young singers have all gone down the same path that Miley Cyrus is now on.  Each one, at some point in their careers, crossed the threshold.  They made their choice to run from the lucrative KIDS section of the bookstore to the more-lucrative ADULT section.  And most of their young fans follow along with a new-found love for what is “smokin’ hot.”

So, here in this video you will witness the death of Hannah Montana.  Say goodbye to the sweet, cute, happy-go-lucky Hannah Montana, the princess of the Disney TV empire.  Say goodbye to Miley Cyrus, the emerging young pop-country singer.  Say hello to the sexy new Miley Cyrus.  See and judge for yourself

Watch the video, read the lyrics below, and think about how this might play out among preteens.

I think many kids will see through this and just laugh at how silly this is.  It’s cartoon-ish, really.  But what about all those thirteen-year-old girls who have grown up loving Hannah Montana in her music, TV show, and movie?  For many of them, Hannah / Miley is a friend, albeit a virtual one.  Those same girls are discovering their own new powers of sexuality (in their language, dress, media) on boys and girls their age at school, in texting, and online.  It’s all very new and exciting.  And if Hannah Montana grows up this way with fame, fortune, and fun, then why shouldn’t we all?

Again, this gets to the root question that drives this blog.  What does it mean to grow up well?  What does that look like?  Sadly, for some, it looks like this…


For those who don’t know me, I can get a bit crazy
Have to get my way, 24 hours a day
‘Cause I’m hot like that
Every guy everywhere just gives me mad attention
Like I’m under inspection, I always get the 10s
‘Cause I’m built like that

I go through guys like money flyin’ out their hands
They try to change me but they realize they can’t
And every tomorrow is a day I never planned
If you’re gonna be my man, understand

I can’t be tamed, I can’t be saved
I can’t be blamed, I can’t, can’t
I can’t be tamed, I can’t be changed
I can’t be saved, I can’t be (can’t be)
I can’t be tamed

If I see my reflection about my intentions
I’ll tell ya I’m not here to sell ya
Or tell ya to get to hell
I’m like a puzzle but all of my pieces are jagged
If you can understand this, we can make some magic
I’m on like that…


Now, if you think I’m over-reacting, check this out.  These girls are eight years old.  Not seventeen (like Miley Cyrus) or twenty-eight like Beyonce (the original artist of the song Single Ladies).  Eight years old.  Look at their outfits, the choice of music, the moves…  And their parents, dance teachers, and contest officials all seemed to think that this is appropriate and worthy of applause.

Author: Andy Kerckhoff

I'm a husband, father, teacher. I'm doing my best, wishing I could do better, and trying to help others to effectively lead kids through early adolescence.

6 thoughts on “Inappropriate for Young Girls”

  1. “What we do with our children — and what we do to them — is a worryingly accurate indication of what we think of the world, God, and ourselves.” – N.T. Wright

  2. Here’s what happens: Naive parent sends first child to dance school at 4 years old. Turns out that the child has a talent and is asked to join a competitive dance group. Naive mom is thrilled that her child has such talent! First couple of years go okay but she hates sewing on those sequins and can’t believe the stage moms that she runs into along the way. I mean, they are so obnoxious! Mom fights wanting to put her daughter in the makeup and do the hair but follows the crowd because other good moms are doing it. After all, it’s the best dance school around….everyone says so! The dance school says these dances are what’s needed to compete at the highest level. After several years and thousands of dollars mom realizes that all of the sudden her child is dancing half naked with suggestive moves but winning all of the competitions. Mom decides that is what has to be done to be the best or maybe mom gets smart and realizes the slow burn that’s taken place along the way and finds something better for her daughter.

    ****How many parents have watched as their child was berated by a coach, or found themselves on a team that is way too competitive and is sending out all of the wrong messages.? We are following the crowd. Many of us do this and it’s made difficult when normally respectable people are put in charge and are doing questionable things. As parents we need to stand up for what is right for our child and not worry so much about what all of the other “respectable” parents are doing. If more of us did that then maybe things would change. One mom taking her kid out of the dance class isn’t going to cut it.

    I hope that people will contact the dance school and the company that puts on these contests. These standards must change. I believe it is going to have to start from the top.

  3. Here’s something to consider. Many times we assume that someone is a good parent and that the family is close-knit, but in many cases it’s a facade. Especially in suburban households, the outside does not always match the inside. So many parents seem involved but are not; we find out later that they are detached and clueless to most of what their kids are doing. So, the next time you find yourself thinking, “Well, it must be okay since the Johnson’s seem to be ok with it.” Stop. And ask yourself how well you really know all of the members of the Johnson family. Too often we assume the best, only to find out later that there are some real problems beneath the surface of those “good parents.” So consult with others and then make decisions based on your own values.

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