Karina Longworth has written a really excellent critique of the supposedly “off-the-cuff” web show featuring tween sensation (and, according to South Park, the next victim of our society) Miley Cyrus.
“The most recent episode, in which Miley and Mandy answer questions from their fans, nullifies any pretense that The Miley and Mandy Show is, at this point, “just for fun” or even put together off the clock. We learn in the first few minutes that Mandy, Miley’s “best friend” for two years, is actually her employee, a back-up dancer who is about to make her debut in a girl group put together by Miley’s team, described as “like the Pussycat Dolls meets the Spice Girls, but a little more age appropriate.” Suddenly, it all makes sense: YouTube is the venue through which the back-up dancer can be aligned in the minds of the fans as existing on the same plane as the superstar, thus easing Mandy’s transition from faceless element of Miley’s brand to a moneymaker in her own right.”
That’s just a taste of the her thoughts. I know it is naive to think it could be any other way but it is scary to see that Miley isn’t really bothered by the seamless interweaving of herself and her product. I doubt she even notices it.
Really, maybe it is just an age thing – I remember when I was younger it was generally thought that any actor who went from film to TV was falling but that’s no longer the case. And every rock band in the world is now free to sell their music to the highest brand-bidder with no risk of loss of cool factor.
Maybe being a corporate shill has simply become ok.