Role models and idolisation of a  disney star; marketing themselves through the shock factor as a mediated corporation strategy.

Throughout this presentation I will be looking mainly into the development of Disney stars, through their careers starting at Disney and then moving into doing their own thing. I will focusing mostly on Miley Cyrus’ transition through fame and how she now is using the shock factor as her marketing strategy.

1. What is a role model/idol?

Role Model: a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated. [have definition on screen and read out too]

Idol: an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. [have definition on screen and read out too]

[in presentation will have images of positive and negative role models]

I have been reading the article Britney, Beyonce, and me – primary school girls’ role models and constructions of the ‘popular’ girl to find out more about why school girls idolise celebrities

“…at the ways in which the gendered social construction of the ‘popular girl’ infused girls’ ideas as to who (at a particular moment in time) they would like to be when they ‘grow up’ – called here for simplification their ‘role models’.” [page 1]

“…As we have show in the paper, marketing the singer in such a way appeals not only to masculine fantasies of the sexual precocious school girl but also discursively constructs the singer as the epitome of what many schoolgirls themselves desire – to be the leader of the gang, to acquire the status capital of holding the most coveted of positions – that of the popular girl’” [page 11]

I also read in this article that male stars are appealing to girls as “…they provide them with fantasies of (hetrosexual) romance ‘without the hassle of a relationship or the monotony or marriage’…”  (Ehrenreich, Hess, and Jacobs). This brings up the idea that girls are also idolising male celebrities to fantasise about what potential boyfriends could be or what a future marriage could be like, but of course this would never be the sae as celebrities are constructed through the media and like in the previous blog post some stars actually claim that their lives are completely different to their media life

Overall in the paper it has ‘been concerned with exploring the links between the people young girls choose as role models and the characteristics most likely to make girls ‘popular’ amongst their peers. Many of the reasons discussed by the girls in our study as to why they have chosen stars such as Britney or Beyoncé as their role models related to aspects of their appearance, to their ability to perform for an audience in terms of singing and dancing, and (to a Jesser extent) to a personality traits such as ‘niceness’ and ‘kindness” [page 10] – what I have taken from this is the fact that young kids in only year 3 who are of ages 7/8 are already looking up to such influence women in the industry for ‘life’ role models but they have a more ‘innocent’ take on it.

Read, B 2011, ‘Britney, Beyonce, and me – primary school girls’ role models and constructions of the ‘popular’ girl’, Gender & Education, 23, 1, pp. 1-13

2. Media Representation of celebrities 

Turner and Bonner talk about how a celebrity is not a property of its own individuality but as a product of a media representation. They also state how people who look at celebrities dont know them in real life but know them through what they are representing and wanting to show us as their ‘image’.

– Turner, G. (2004) Understanding celebrity. London: Sage.

– Bonner, F. (2005) ‘The celebrity in the text’, in J. Evans and D. Hesmondhalgh (eds) Understanding media: Inside celebrity, pp 57-96. Maidenhead: Open University Press

This is a prime example of Miley Cyrus, is she a properly of her own individuality or a product of her marketing and PR team? [show images of her as a Disney star and how she is now]

It is also quoted in the journal that Justin Timberlake had once said that he feels that his life in the media is more interesting than his actual life. Celebrities have this persona that is built up around them making themselves and their lives seem a lot more interesting than what maybe really is and this appeals to the younger generation as something to idolise. “Celebrities continuously try to breach the gap between the simulated persona, and the ‘real’ person…” [page 4]

– Giles, D (2000) illusions of immortality: A psychology of fame and celebrity.Basingstoke: Macmillan

Duits, L, & Vis, P 2009, ‘Girls make sense: Girls, celebreties and identities’, European Journal Of Cultural Studies, 12, 1, pp. 41-58,

Go on to talk about the development of the Disney stars [show images of how they used to be to how they are now – https://melissacruzsantos.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/fallen-disney-stars-the-scandalous-pasts-of-former-child-actors/]

I have found a series of child Disney stars who have developed from their innocent child images into ‘scandalous’ adult stars. All these images below are  former Disney products…they were all child stars who all have taken some sort of turn for the worst, or had a breakdown at some point. When looking through all these I started to think maybe it is all this pressure that was put on them since being so young, they are being treated like adults where their salary may be more than their parents at that time…what a pressuring situation to be in at such a young age!

A lot of these starts have at some point been arrest or been in trouble with the law but they also keep running into the same things, for example Britney Spears…but she is still such a huge role model with the younger generation as well as the generation who grew up with her!

A comment factor between two of these celebrators is their managers…Larry Rudolph. He is a New York-born manager was an entertainment lawyer before becoming an entrepreneur and manager. Although his methods for revitalising celebrity careers have often come into question, he is credited for propelling Britney Spears to fame.

He worked with the Hit Me baby One More Time singer at the start if her music career and was rehired by her father during her public meltdown and he may also now have to work with Miley in the future if she follows on from Britney has has a public meltdown too!

3. Shock tactic as a marketing strategy

Although Larry claims that this is all of Mileys ideas and wanting to do all of these crazy actions that she has been doing…it is a bit suspicious that they both Britney and Miley have had the same manager and have both broken out of their Disney shell!

“By stripping to her flesh-toned latex underwear and gyrating suggestively on a very married Robin Thicke, she confirmed what the world had long suspected – her Hannah Montana days are well and truly over.

And as Cyrus continues to employ shock tactics and sexualisation to aid her public reinvention,  some observers will experience a sense of déjà vu.

Just twelve years ago, it was Britney Spears who was desperate to strip herself of her Disney roots and become a global icon and pin up.

And just as Larry Rudolph helped Spears achieve her goal, he has reportedly been hired to manage Cyrus and resurrect the career of the 20-year-old child star-turned-twerking queen.

According to industry experts, the writing was on the wall from the moment the Wrecking Ball hitmaker fired her team and put Rudolph at the helm.

Rudolph, best known for presiding over Spears’ transformation from wholesome role model to sex kitten at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, started working with Cyrus in March, co-managing the young star with her mother, Tish.”

– http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/meet-larry-rudolph-man-who-sexualised-miley-521301

carry on with shock tactics research

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