I was recently on itunes, just browsing through the new music section to see if there was anything good. As much as I didn't want to, I wound up clicking on Miley Cyrus, just to see if she had actually come up with anything decent this time. Granted, I usually like her; I read her book and she honestly seemed like a down-to-earth person. And, I didn't really mind Hannah Montana as long as my sister wasn't blasting it loud enough to hear it through the walls.
But what I came across at this particular point just bugged me to no end; it wasn't just that she was dressed to work a street corner, or that her latest music video was flat-out weird. It's not that she sounds out of her mind when she talks about being allowed to live on her own, or possibly getting married when she's of legal age.
It's that while she's trying to ditch her tween-friendly image and prove to the world that she's more "adult," she seems to forget that she's only seventeen years old.
There's no denying that whether you're a guy or a girl, everyone goes through that at some point; you want to be independent and not be treated like a child all the time. You're tired of being told what to do and what to believe. When all is said and done, you want to have the ability to live your own life on your own terms. I can understand that, because I'm currently going through that type of experience.
But there are certain ways to go about it; when one constantly shoves themselves in people's faces saying "look at me, I'm all grown up!" those people tend not to pay attention; 1.) they get sick of it really fast 2.) They know that the person is most likely not doing it for themselves, but for the sake of pleasing others. And when you're doing something solely for the purpose of someone else, most of the time it will not turn out the way you want it to.
Another thing that gets overlooked is that these transitions take time. I think teen stars these days would actually be taken more seriously if they actually took the time to mature; maybe step out of the spotlight for a year or two and focus on other interests. Go to prom. Graduate from high school. Go to college and get a degree in another field, because fame doesn't always last forever. Be a mentor to another up and coming artist.
Of course, there is the "well, Britney, Christina, and Lindsay did it...so why can't she?" type of argument. There's definitely some truth to that, but they've always had somewhat of a sexual edge to them, and they were more in their twenties when they began walking around scantily clad and doing strip-teases on stage (I don't condone that in any way, but it's more, shall we say "common" for a woman to do that in their twenties and up than when they're not of legal age). And aside from Christina, who (thankfully) cleaned up her act after awhile, look where the other two ended up; both have partied and been to rehab on multiple occasions, eventually becoming more known for their antics and scandals rather than their movies or music.
Sadly, I have a feeling that this girl has lit a rocket fuse that is only headed for when destination: trouble.
What bugs me even more then celebrities doing this kind of stuff, is kids in general just growing up way too fast. And no, I'm not just talking about the music they listen to or the clothes they wear, despite the fact that both those aspects have become questionable. I'm talking about kids in their late tweens and early teens (possibly even older then that) having this skewed view of adulthood; they believe that once they get older, everything will be just fine and dandy.
Personally, I believe that their is no particular "rite of passage" when it comes to this phase in life. Having sex, for whatever reason, does not make you an adult. Drinking alcohol does not make you an adult. Wearing certain amounts of clothing does not make you an adult. Living on your own, getting married, having babies (or whatever order one chooses to do those things in) does not make you an adult.
In reality, it's all about maturity and how you handle things. Obviously, mistakes will be made and consequences will have to be dealt with. But that's a part of life; take responsibility for your actions and acknowledge that you messed up. At some point, you have to forgive yourself, allow others to forgive you, and move on.
For me, the most rewarding (and hardest part) about being an adult is coming to the realization that it's not all about me; that with whatever choices I make, other people will be affected. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in bad ways. When I don't make good decisions for myself, I hurt other people as well.
I didn't write this to say that I have it all together, or that I'm perfect. Just because I'm eighteen and going to college doesn't necessarily mean I'm "all grown up" so to speak. I don't believe there to be a specific age where we stop growing, at least emotionally and spiritually. You learn something new about yourself and about the world each and every day.
My main point is that if you want people to see you in a different light, you can't force it or rush into anything. Just be, and the right people will notice and respect you because of it. Don't be in a hurry to grow up, because there will come a point where you're going to wish you were young again.