Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Here's to Never Growing Up.

        Hello! If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I had a slight meltdown yesterday, because this post was ready before noon, but it would not post for love nor money. In the end, a good half of it got deleted and I got so disheartened that I gave up on it. Anyways, this post isn't really a review, as once again, I've done/seen/read/eaten anything new. So this is more about difficult transitions from one age category to the next. (One of my very best friends wrote something similar here.) Specifically, I want to reference the idea of growing up, or not growing up as you may have deduced from the title. I'm aware that this is more of an article about 'self' that it is a review, necessarily, however it's been going round and round in my head since I saw Miley Cyrus' new video. In case you haven't seen it:

     Now, apart from the fact that her voice actually sounds quite a lot like Rihanna, a couple of things struck me about this video which a couple of years ago I wouldn't have really seen coming from her. Firstly, she's wearing almost nothing, which for one thing, I'm thinking, she's done so many hours of pilates and maybe she should show her abs off a little bit, but then, she still has a following of your girls, who want to know how to go from little girl to young woman. When Britney Spears went through this phase, she just said outright 'I'm not a girl, not yet a woman', while standing on a mountain with, likewise, her abs on show. (We'll consider her massive and tragic breakdown in a paragraph or two) Secondly, there's a lot of aggression shown here, she's baring her teeth a lot for a start and it just screams of 'I'M NOT THE INNOCENT LITTLE GIRL FROM THE DISNEY CHANNEL ANY MORE!'
         We all know we all have to grow up, and it's a difficult transition going from being 14/15 to 17/18 and beyond; there are different social guidelines in such a small space of time, and then again, I have to act different now to the way I did when I was 17, if only because I used to dress horribly and be really over-dramatic back then. The transition is harder for someone like Miley, or Britney, because they were cute and innocent in the limelight when they were really young, I was just in the shops. Trying to shake that childlike innocence is something I saw from Britney through a lot of her songs, I think of 'Oops, I Did it Again' and all I can hear is 'I'm not that innocent'. Then Miley comes along and twerks all over the show saying 'it's my mouth, I can say what I want to.' There are still signs of adolescence throughout the video though - she's constantly sticking her tongue out, and there's a guy sucking his thumb at one point.
      Kind of in contrast to this, I get Avril Lavigne singing about never growing up, sitting in a park and drinking God-knows-what while listening to Radiohead. That's something that reminds me of being 14, (the park and friends part, not the alcohol part) but then Avril makes me reminiscent anyway because I was around that age when she was coming out with Skater Boy and suchlike. I know the song fits in with Avril's sound and it's not out of character for her, but when I was thinking about it, I just think she's trying to say 'I'm not old yet', and maybe she's gone the other way to Miley. Avril was always the rebel, she always sang angsty songs like 'I Always Get What I Want', and refused to change her image following 'Complicated' which is something I always respected her for; even when she became more of a 'princess', claiming that she doesn't like your girlfriend, but will be happy to fill the role, she still had her rebellious edge, and frankly, those were some of her most attractive days. She married young though, and then divorced young which is sure to make anyone feel like their life is going by super fast, so maybe the re-emergence of these songs about teenage years are part of her clinging on to that youth that she maybe feels has become distant to her.
         Now, I'm aware that I haven't referenced any men in this, but I just don't think it happens as often in guys - people seem to have a 'boys will be boys' attitude, so when a guy starts acting up or being boisterous, it's 'normal'. There seem to be different expectations, and almost a different reality for girls when they go from girls to women. One factor is the shape of our bodies - of course, guys go from being being boyish to developing abs and whatever, but if they don't take their shirt off, who's to know? If a girl grows breasts, they're right there. I'm not saying male behaviour doesn't change at all - Justin Bieber cut his hair, got tattoos and smoked some weed, but it's not really on the same level as Britney's rebellion, following and including her marriage and subsequent break-down to Kevin Fedreline. (I make reference to her song 'My Prerogative' released around the time that she was receiving criticism for the way they were both behaving.) It's unlikely that Bieber will go off the rails as much as Britney did though, I just hope Miley doesn't go that far in proving she's not a kid any more.
          I completely get where Avril is coming from never wanting to grow up - my friends and I always joke that we should go back to secondary school for the day, make all the terrible jokes we used to make and think that we had a lot of work to do then. On the other hand, I can identify with Miley's plight to be treated as an adult - to my immediate and extended family, I seem to be a strange hybrid of Little Laura with the big brown eyes, and Laura the woman. Even if they don't see it that way, I think of myself that way around them; is it okay for me to swear? to drink alcohol? I've never been more sure of who I am, yet I don't know exactly how to be in some circumstances. I've come to terms with the fact that I will be growing older every day, but to be honest with you, I agree with Avril - I don't ever want to grow up.

        Okay! Next Tuesday will be a review of Pacific Rim which I'm going to go and look at on Friday so I have a reason to eat too much pick'n'mix. Sorry again for the issues surrounding this post, I think there was a problem with the internet because YouTube videos wouldn't load either which was great. If you have any examples of men that have had a similar rebellion (I got one - Michael Jackson had a big change of identity   following a childhood showbiz career) post a comment below, also comment if you have any expansions, any suggestions of other people who have been through this sort of thing, and also your experiences of growing up. Anyway, have a great week!
                         Thanks for reading! Laura

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