As I write this, my eight year old daughter sits and watches the premiere of the new Disney propaganda marketing machine….I mean movie, The Cheetah Girls, One World.
Yes, one Disney-fied world. One world filled with teenaged girls who wear only stillettos, and tons of make-up, and gyrate on the dance floor like they have way more experience than I had at that age. And it wasn’t like I was all that innocent then, either.
Ostensibly, the Cheetah girls are all about friendship over fame. The group over the one. It’s communism Disney style — with really great clothes. They’re all it it together. (To borrow from another Disney marketing bonanza). Only they’re not. One Cheetah is absent. Raven Simone (Galleria — she’s even named after a mall. Talk about materialism.) has left the group. Within the first few moment of the movie the remaining Cheetahs explain — she’s off the Cambridge. Buh-bye. So much for friendship. These girls are on the cell-phones all the time — even in India. (what network are they on? I want that range…and no worries about roaming charges, either.) Yet they never once call to speak to Galleria. I know I’m out of the room right this minute — but they hadn’t mentioned her yet. I don’t think they’re gonna start. Nice friendship. Out of group, out of mind.
Is it wrong of me to let my daughter watch this stuff? Will it make her think that that’s what she’s supposed to be? Made up and calling people “girlfriend” and saying “yo”? Does she get that it’s a movie? That most teenaged girls don’t jaunt off to India after one audition? That most teenaged girls don’t have a different, perfectly styled hair-do and trendy overly styled outfit (I mean, really, fingerless gloves? Sequined bustiers?) for every moment of every day?
And why why why does every single pop star have mellisma– itis? How many syllables can the word Loooooooooove have, anyway?
I don’t know. All I do know is I’d better get back in there and watch with her, so I can keep on reminding her that what she’s seeing is all Disney — and no reality. That teenaged girls don’t get to travel the world without any adult supervision whatsoever. That beauty isn’t only about how much eyeliner you wear, or how ungepatchked your outfits are. (It’s Yiddish – meaning overly accessorized)
If I don’t, maybe she’ll end up like me, trying for twenty years to lose the same twenty pounds, and writing a self-deprecating blog every day. Yikes.