Hanna Montana Gets High — And Tweens Follow
My husband and I don’t have children – much less “tweens” – but even I know who Hannah Montana is.
Okay. I only have a little idea about what is going on in this specialized world except when some of the women with whom I tend to associate (the mental health field is almost all women) told me that their little daughters loved Hannah Montana. But I would have to be Helen Keller not to see her image on blankets and jewelry and plastic stuff the exact nature of which is unidentifiable to me, and to hear her recordings in public places where they blare so-called “popular” music indiscriminately.
This should be understandable.
I will admit I had to look up the information that Miley Cyrus plays Hannah Montana on a Disney network TV show that has all the tweens twittering or tweeting or whatever.
For the uninitiated, young Ms. Cyrus is a clever geek who is secretly a pop star cleverly disguised by changing her dark hair for a blonde wig. That’s about as believable as Clark Kent’s glasses fooling people into thinking he can’t be Superman – but it is reasonable that any female tween would buy into this fantasy.
One thing that interests me is that two people involved with the show’s creation were also involved with Murphy Brown. Although this television character was fictional, actress Candice Bergen created in the persona of Murphy a personality whom a lot of people seemed to have thought was real.
Vice-President Dan Quayle blasted her for (as part of the TV plot) deciding to have a baby without getting married and raising this baby as a single mother. Quayle maintained that this would send a message to young ladies who idolized Murphy Brown and they would decide it was ok to do the same. Whether this was a good thing or a bad thing was more of a political issue (Traditional Family Values) than a moral issue.
I remember reading an actual questionnaire-type study to that effect, but what I remember even more dramatically is patients — scores of patients — who believed that this woman and her realm were really and truly real.
Kind of like those commercials where an actor/actress in a white coat wearing a stethoscope says, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Yet you know everybody from Dr. Kildare and Marcus Welby, MD through the McDreamy and McSteamy docs are considered as real as Pres. Obama.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a real doctor, but I don’t play one on TV)
So I am starting to wonder what the tweens — the 6 to 14s — think is real with Miley and Hannah.
Then the celebrity gossip press blows the lid off of the private life of Miley Cyrus when she’s observed on her 18th birthday – involved in suspicious activity.
And what is unfortunate, is that she has single handedly promoted behavior and habits among her young followers that aren’t exactly healthy or recommended in normal society.
I hear it as I switch channels across “Entertainment tonight.” They are detailing the human aspects of how she has been a well-behaved child star and needs to let herself go a little, and about how this faux-dope is legal in California. Me — I am incensed, finding out how this thing can exist and be legal here in California without me knowing about it.
All the info you could ever want about the stuff is as close as your friendly Wikipedia.
Used by mystical folks in Oaxaca, Mexico, salvia seems to be an hallucinogen. The descriptions of what people think and feel sound exactly like what people told me while describing their “trips” on LSD. There is at least the sensation of insight — which may or may not be real — and after a full-scale investigation of safety, I can easily imagine someone in some eastern bloc country trying to use this to produce abreaction in psychotherapy.
Right now, it is illegal in 15 states, but there seems to be no really energetic attempts to prosecute people for using or having it. You better believe salvia sales have skyrocketed since Miley/Hannah was videoed with a bong full of the stuff.
I fully believe in the concept of the responsibility of celebrity. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, this young lady became a celebrity long before she became an adult, so maybe we cannot expect perfect judgment yet.
Moralistic judgments aside, while recreational drug use is allowed (to some extent) in adults, celebrities ought to realize that they have tremendous influence on the public.
Think of Paul McCartney’s support of vegetarianism, then add in his unapologetic usage of marijuana. He doesn’t seem to be actively supporting marijuana use but the message comes through to his fans as clearly as his message on the necessity of a vegetarian lifestyle.
Celebrities are only human – they don’t always think everything out completely.
I simply do not like the looks of Miley Cyrus as the poster girl for salvia at all. The question is not one of legality, for people who want a substance enough always manage to get it whether it is legal or not. I am concerned that her young followers do not know what they are letting themselves in for. Most of the public is in denial, but even tweens get involved with drinking and smoking various things.
The average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls. By age 14, 41% of children have had least one drink.
Furthermore, 20% of 8th-graders have tried marijuana at least once, and by 10th grade, 20% are “current” users (that is, used within the past month). Among 12th-graders, nearly 50% have tried marijuana or hash at least once, and about 22% were current users.
A youth’s brain is not fully developed – myelinated – until the age of 28!
Usage of hallucinogens have been shown to damage and destroy nerve fibers of neurons that contain serotonin. Not good. Not good at all.
I consider it a tragedy that the tweens are diving for a hallucinogen, because someone they idolize — who may or may not be real — has gone for it.