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Oops! It happened again! Another Disney star (and also a Nickelodeon star, but she’s cut from the same cloth) has shed her wholesome image for a more racy one. What will the children do now? Who will they look to when faced with a funny moral dilemma that can only be solved by watching the magic of a tween star encountering a different but oh-so-similar dilemma?
This month, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens’ new movie “Spring Breakers” will premiere. Gomez and Hudgens play two college students who, with their friends, rob a restaurant for some spring break money, get arrested, get bailed out by a drug and arms dealer, and then proceed to pay him back by doing his dirty work. Did we mention that the girls are in bikinis the entire time? And that the rating is totally not Disney-friendly?
Because of the graphic nature of the movies, some parents are unhappy with the stars’ choices. According to “The Today Show,” movie critic Michael Medved’s son Danny, who grew up watching “High School Musical,” was not impressed with the new roles, even saying, “Makes me wonder if any mother would want their child to watch Vanessa Anne Hudgens in a film again.”
All right, so this film probably won’t win any Academy Awards, and it may not have been the classiest first choice for a break away from the Disney image, but is there anything really wrong with these girls starring in such roles?
Although there is no simple answer, we’d like to say no. The fact is the girls are exploring, spreading their acting roots. Hudgens even said in one interview that she wanted to shock people and not be looked at as just the girl from “High School Musical.” This was actually a good career move for Gomez, because she is now getting offers from directors that wouldn’t look at her before due to her innocent, carefully crafted, good-girl image.
And honestly, it could be so much worse. Like, Lindsay Lohan worse, if you know what we mean. Instead of acting these roles, these girls could very well be living them, and what kind of role model would they be then without a helpful MPAA rating to warn away the kiddies?
Disney teen stars can’t, well, stay Disney teen stars forever. Like the kids who idolize them, they eventually grow up, which means moving on, and if they choose to move on into newer roles that may or may not jive with what mothers and fathers of Disney-watching children approve of, then why shouldn’t they? It’s their careers. Sure, Disney may have gotten them to where they are now, but who’s going to take them further to a nice retirement and a pension?
True, they could always go the Hilary Duff (of Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire” fame) route: Fade away into nice, innocent, normal obscurity. But if they want to jump on the Emma Watson bandwagon, then by all means, they should bandwagon away.
That’s what the MPAA rating system is for.