Childrearing

Fact: Miley Cyrus Is Influencing Your Daughter

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A study was recently published in the Journal of Children and Media illustrating how female pop stars influence French girls’ concepts of gender, femininity, and identity. The study, authored by Catherine Monnot, determined that girls between the ages of 9 and 11 years old embodied “codes of modern femininity,” and imitated the pop stars whose posters they had up in their rooms. They copied their idols with either singing, dancing, or style of dress placing them in a constant state of “apprenticeship.”

The abstract also notes that:

…girls were torn between a traditional imperative of innocence and purity, and such powerful media messages which then led them to get caught up with beauty and seduction. These preteen girls, who were targets of the musical industry and more or less controlled by their parents, worked on building their “feminine” identity and behavior in the privacy of their bedrooms, among peers, and in public, especially on the school playground.

Pressures to uphold traditional conventions about female sexuality, yet remain highly sexual is evidenced in many of today’s American tween stars. “Traditional imperatives” immediately echoes Miley’s chastity vow while ideas of “beauty and seduction” could well describe her use of a stripper pole in one highly covered performance. This study proves that young girls are responding to these mixed messages and forming their own identity in response.

However, if Miley’s dancing and singing are influencing your daughter’s behavior, so is what she does off stage. Her outfits and performances might be problematic for young girls but Miley is outspoken on a number of other things. The starlet recently took to her Twitter to advocate same-sex marriage and even engaged with a hostile follower over the topic. Perhaps the silver lining when eyeing those posters on the wall.