Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Difference Between a Momentary Thing and a Star

While reading a post by Stacy McCain, which I'll return to in short order, I was reminded of Jodie Foster.  Remember her?  At the age of fourteen she appeared in Taxi Driver and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  She promptly became involved in drugs and sex scandals and ultimately disappeared off the map.  No, wait-that didn't happen.  Jodie Foster graduated as valedictorian of her high school and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a degree in literature from Yale University.  She has been nominated for four academy awards, taking home the Oscar twice.  At the age of forty-seven, she is a beautiful, intelligent woman and a highly respected actress, director and producer.  The only scandal that has touched her life was not of her making-obsessed fan John Hinkley, Jr. shot President Reagan in an attempt to garner her attention.  Contrast Jodie Foster to today's crop of child stars turned well, embarrassments.

The subject of Stacy's post is Miley Cyrus, the child star who is rapidly becoming a run of the mill teenage mess.  Reuters and Perez Hilton have deservedly earned Stacy's ire by publishing a picture of the seventeen year old Cyrus dressed scantily and flashing her "lady bits".  Stacy writes:

Three suggestions:

1.  The photo editor at Reuters who approved this image for distribution needs to be fired;

2.  Miley Cyrus needs to be advised against traveling down this ex-Disney Princess road to Britney/Lindsay burnout; and   
3.  Someone at the Justice Department’s Innocent Images Task Force should make a friendly phone call to Reuters, and a slightly less friendly call to Perez Hilton, just to let them know that they’re in the danger zone.
Excellent advice.  I would add:  if you want to taken seriously, act in a serious manner.  We are told that Cyrus is trying to "transition to adulthood."  Fair enough.  Someone who cares about Cyrus and her future (hello, Mom, Dad, are you there?) should guide her and perhaps point out that respected and successful stars don't show up in magazines with their privates exposed or celebrate at their wrap party by giving their producer a lap dance.  Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan may act that way but Jodie Foster and Meryl Streep most certainly do not.  Someone should also tell her to get an education.  (Streep has an undergraduate degree from Vassar, attended Dartmouth, and has a graduate degree from Yale)  An education will broaden her experiences, make her a more interesting person and introduce her a better class of people than she currently hanging out with.
Cyrus needs to make some hard decisions.  First and foremost she needs to decide what kind of adult she wants to "transition" to.  Right now she appears to be transitioning towards the kind of adult we call a "flash in the pan".