Britney Spears Miley and the others: when fame hurts

Success often comes at a very high price. Sometimes this is damaging to young women trying for themselves, as highlighted by the #FreeBritney case

By Francesca Parravicini

In Rachel, "Jack and Ashley Too", an episode of the most creepy and creative dystopian series of recent years (obviously we are talking about Black Mirror), the young protagonist Rachel is an insecure girl obsessed with pop star Ashley O, played by Miley Cyrus. If Rachel takes comfort from the image and songs of Ashley, who always appears perfect, with a smile on her lips and a series of fake empowering slogans, Ashley's life is not really bright: prisoner of her manager-aunt who she sees her as a money machine and fills her with psychotropic drugs (which Ashley manages to not take and hide), her only confident is a diary where she writes her darkest thoughts.

Once caught, she is induced to a pharmacological coma and her thoughts are extracted from her brain with a computer and transformed into songs (cleaned of all negative thoughts of course).

A story that in an hyperbolic form almost seems to evoke the latest news on Britney Spears (we spoke about her here) and the #FreeBritney movement.

The aunt considers Ashley not a person, with her normal weaknesses and frailties but a brand, to be sold in the form of gadgets, dolls with artificial intelligence, holograms to be projected in arenas for concerts, the hologram is the person, the problem is that the hologram is never tired, the person in the flesh is.

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Black Mirror 6/5 #AshleyToo 💜

Un post condiviso da Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) in data:

It may seem an almost apocalyptic scenario, yet there are real situations that often do not deviate so much from imagination. How many times we look up to the divas that we love with admiration and we wish to have their lives, that seem so glossy and perfect? But many times they are far from perfect.

The scenario is always very similar: girls who became famous when they are very young, with a pristine and well-defined image, made specifically to be loved and idolized by teenagers (who will then go and ask their parents for money to buy expensive gadgets and concert tickets), an image that became oppressive and therefore leads the baby stars to rebel, often in destructive ways or to mature an internal suffering, all documented by the lens of the media, because you know, nothing is more palatable for the mainstream media than a girl who behaves in a way that can be criticized. Fame is beautiful and shiny, the pop world is part of our lives, but there is a dark side, where the media overexposure and the need to create a successful product often go to the detriment of the happiness of many young women.

It is emblematic that Miley Cyrus starred in an episode of Black Mirror which in a certain way is similar to her own life: she became very famous from a young age, playing the role of the unforgettable Hannah Montana in the Disney series (who haven't sung at least one of her songs, as a child?), she soon reached an impressive but overwhelming level of fame (do you remember the gadgets of the series, they were everywhere?) that led her to the transgressions of the Bangerz era, with the famous Wrecking Ball video, where she posed naked on a wrecking ball. The media ridiculed her, maybe we made fun of her, but if we look at the situation as a whole, isn't it perhaps normal to react to a situation of strong control with a rebellion that may seem exaggerated?

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Wanna go for a swim? 🤓

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In the following years Miley experienced greater creative freedom, putting first what she loves, music. In various interviews she talked about how Hannah Montana was an important part of her life, but growing up she felt that this identity belonged to her past and she was tired of being considered more a mascot than a person and that such an early fame left her a little confused and in need of defining her true self: "I guess that’s what I’m still doing — trying on identities and seeing what fits". And we are sure that sooner and later dear Miley, you will find your voice.

Ovviamente i casi di cui potremmo parlare sono veramente infiniti: Selena Gomez, che racconta di come la fama l'ha dovuta trasformare in una persona adulta nonostante fosse ancora piccola, che è una delle giovani donne più seguite su Instagram ma allo stesso tempo vorrebbe nascondersi dalle telecamere e cova una sofferenza che l'ha portata a soffrire di depressione. Demi Lovato che racconta le difficoltà di essere giudicata sin da piccola e di trovare la propria strada su un sentiero che sembra già scritto da altri e si è ritrovata a gestire disturbi alimentari e dipendenze sotto i riflettori. Bella Thorne, che preferisce mostrare se stessa nelle sue imperfezioni e difetti che essere la babystar perfetta che tutti vorrebbero che fosse ancora.

The are also many cases that we can talk about: Selena Gomez, who tells how fame transformed her into an adult person despite being still young, who is one of the most followed young women on Instagram but at the same time would like to hide from the cameras and suffered from depression. Demi Lovato who talks about the difficulties of being judged from an early age and finding her way on a path that seems already written by others and has found herself managing eating disorders and addictions in the spotlight. Bella Thorne, who prefers to show herself in her imperfections and flaws than being the perfect young star that everyone would like her to be still.

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My kid’s 4 today, again slow down time🌻

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Obviously there are also cases where early fame is lived with greater serenity (see Zendaya), but there are many cases of young stars who develop an inner discomfort and they are united by a single, great factor: the search for themselves. In a world where they are presented as perfect, indestructible images, these young women are more than just holograms, they are people who deserve a more human journey, where self-expression and personal well-being come before fame.

We'll give our best wishes to the next generation of stars.