Disney Shows Get Girls Interested In Bad Boys Awfully Early

Last night I went to dinner with a friend and her adorable four-and-a-half year old daughter Eva. I was pleasantly mortified to discover that Eva and I shared the same taste in music — we’re both really into Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana. I swear, as I get older, my taste in music gets more juvenile. Anyway, Eva and I dished for a while about Miley, That’s So Raven, and Zach and Cody (two other shows on the Disney Channel), before her mom and I started discussing the weird values these shows start ingraining in the little ones before they’re even old enough to read. For example, Zach and Cody are twin brothers — one of them is the smart, nerdy, “good” one, while the other is wild, naughty, and a bit of a bad boy — naturally, many, many little girls are known to like the bad boy best. Isn’t it weird how pop culture tries to get you to choose between them before you’re even in puberty?Luckily, Eva’s wise nature had her telling me she likes them both equally (good for you sister!). Additionally, on shows like That’s So Raven, tons of stereotypes are represented — the ditsy blonde, the smart, rich Asian, and the sassy black girl. The only show that really does seem to be unique, and maybe this accounts for its insane popularity, is Hannah Montana, in which Miley Cyrus plays a girl with a rock star alter ego. Honestly, I love her, though I was surprised by the overt sexuality she seemed to ooze during her performance on American Idol. That said, I’ve promised Eva’s mom that I will take her to the next tour. It’s going to rule.

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