From Tween To Trash

-appeared in OMG! Magazine Volume 2 Issue 14
-July 12 2010

Baptism. Bar Mitzvah. Circumcision. Hazing. These are all well known rites of passage in the American culture. What about the ultimate rite of passage in modern pop culture? The transition that every young, innocent, nubile female pop star goes through. These starlets emerge fresh off the tween assembly line seemingly destined to follow in the path of their predecessors. No matter how squeaky clean these girls may appear at first glance there comes that moment in their pop star life when it’s time to make their bid for “maturity”. The lyrics get racier. The cleavage makes its first appearance. The shorts get shorter. Not a girl, not yet a woman.

There’s some things in life you never forget. I remember my first kiss. I remember the first time I rode a bike without training wheels. I remember the first time I snuck into a club. I also remember the very first time I became aware of Britney Spears.

I was sitting at my computer in the living room. Soon this noise began to emanate from the television set. It was perhaps the worst singing voice I’d ever heard in my life. And it kept saying “oh baby baby” over and over. And over.

A few thousand plays later we all learned to love Brtiney’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” Despite that awful croak that issued from her throat, her adorableness was undeniable. Barely sixteen and coyly the fantasy of every dirty old man, the young Britney Spears was the daughter of all middle America.

But then as the clock neared midnight and the calendar neared Brit’s twentieth birthday the ingenue scurried to convince her ever-loving public that she was indeed no longer a bubblegum pop star but instead a sexy and mature siren. All it took was a snake and a banging track from the Neptunes called “Slave 4 U”. And indeed, as Britney slithered her new “adult” self into the top ten, a new precedent was set for the path of the modern female pop star.

Far less subtle was Christina Aguilera’s transition from tween to trash. As first glance Miss Aguilera pushed her way onto the pop charts with the catchy and infectious “Genie In A Bottle”. Sure, the lyrics were slightly suggestive in the most PG way possible. Certainly neither man nor beast was prepared for the second coming of Christina. Black hair. Chaps. And a track that made Britney‘s “Slave 4 U” sound like child’s play. Aguilera went as far as changing her name to Xtina in an effort to convince the public that she was indeed old enough to legally buy cigarettes. Many stars have morphed from silly to slutty but arguably none with the chutzpah of Christina Aguilera’s aptly titled “Drrty.” It’s certainly a rough road from Disney to Drrty.

The latest angel to jump on the trollop bandwagon is Miss Miley Cyrus. After assaulting adult eyes and ears for a good few years with squeaky-clean Hannah Montana, at the ripe old age of seventeen Miley is here to let us know that she “Can’t Be Tamed”. More accurately Miss Cyrus seems unable to forge a unique career path for herself. “Can’t Be Tamed” sounds like a third generation Spears track with a fifth generation Aguilera video to boot.

As the wheels of pop culture continue to spin it’s reassuring to know that there’s a fetus somewhere that will be wearing short shorts on MTV in about six years or so.

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