Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good Girls Gone Bad

There's a dirty, unspoken rule in Hollywood.

If you're a kiddie actress, the only road to a legitimate career is spreading your legs. On film. White powder and booze are encouraged bonuses.

The latest victims of this sentiment are, of course, Disney princesses Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez in the cringe-worthy movie Spring Breakers.
Vanessa, the once spotless role model of High School Musical fame, plays a sociopathic nympho with an alarming thirst for violence.
Selena, the former Disney Channel darling, plays a hopelessly confused Christian who cannot for the life of her understand why doing drugs and dancing naked with STD-soaked penises is BAD.

("But we were just having fun!")
This film is basically the quickest and easiest way for both Vanessa and Selena to tell the world they've grown up, tossed out the Disney halos, and want to be taken seriously as actresses. It is also a hall pass to audition for more serious roles in serious films.

Like, seriously.

"I was getting kind of repetitive in terms of the roles I was picking,” Selena Gomez told Interview Magazine, “and I really wanted to do something that was completely different. It was a mark thing for me — like, ‘This is what I want to be doing.' I want to be taking myself seriously as an actress, and this was definitely a stretch. I mean, I'd never smoked a cigarette before in my entire life. It was really funny — they had to show me how to do it."

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that these young actresses are so willing to play these sex-fueled roles to prove they're grown up, or if Hollywood is simply not offering any other solutions.

Why does a girl who is famous for being a princess have to act like a slut to change the tone of her career? I'm not saying these girls have to remain innocent their entire lives, but is going from one extreme to the next really the only way to grab attention?

It worked for Anne Hathaway. She has admitted that during her Princess Diaries fame, it was nearly impossible for her to snag serious roles.

That's the reason she made Havoc in 2005. In the indie film, she plays a sexually confused rich girl who cures boredom by hanging out with gang members. Nudity, sex, drugs. No tiara in sight.

And guess what? Her next film was the award-winning sensation Brokeback Mountain.
Child star Dakota Fanning raised eyebrows in 2010 by starring as vixen rocker Cherie Currie in The Runaways. It was the first film to really showcase the then-17-year-old as an adult.
In the edgy film, she wore fishnet thigh-highs and corsets, showed partial nudity, and had a sex scene with Kristen Stewart.

Her career hasn't slowed down since.

And even 20 years ago, Drew Barrymore used the technique to star in Poison Ivy, in which she played the ultimate sex-crazed bad girl.

Today, she's already a Hollywood legend.

But, the good-girl-gone-bad trick doesn't always work.

Remember Elizabeth Berkley?

If not, that's the reason. In the midst of her squeaky clean Saved by the Bell fame (she was the feminist nerd, Jessie Spano) she jumped right into the film role of a shameless stripper who will do anything to get ahead. The movie was called Showgirls.

Despite the glorified nudity, sex, and blatantly R-rated content, the 1995 movie was a cheesy, disastrous, and unintentionally hilarious flop. Her career never recovered.

These days, you'll be lucky if you catch her in a handful of CSI: Miami reruns.

So, where lies the fate of Vanessa and Selena?

Who knows.

Both acted pretty well in Spring Breakers, with Selena being more notable.

Vanessa does have some interesting films lined up, especially Gimme Shelter, which centers around her playing a street-wise teen desperately seeking her wealthy father. If all goes well, it could earn some awards for the 24-year-old.

Selena has a few less-interesting films lined up, but her shinier celeb status as Justin Bieber's ex-or-not-ex may help strengthen her showbiz career.

It's a toss up.

Both girls are talented and deserve to be carefully considered for more serious films.

I just wish it didn't take sex to make it happen.


Kim Alston said...

You are right Jennifer! This can go totally wrong or right for them. Personally I don't like the route they're taking. I know it's a role, but it's a floosy one. At least Drew Barrymore was mimicking a Lolita. I've seen pics of these girls in nothing but bikinis. I mean is that the entire movie? So crazy! So beneath the both of them. But who knows! I think they'll both be ok.

Aditi So-Saree said...

Jennifer..this post is so well written. I so agree with you on this viewpoint.
Sad, but true.

New Post Up

Swarnali said...

It is really sad to see these girls getting so desperate to prove their mettle as an actor.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I feel about this honestly. I mean if I were in their shoes, only doing these innocent roles all the time for a long time and then had the chance to do a slutty, drug-filled role, I'd definitely do it - whether it put me in serious roles or not. I think that little taste of freedom - getting to act like a slut without "being a slut" - is what they want in addition to them being put into more serious roles.

Couture Carrie said...

So true!


i.s. said...

good post x

Alex said...

Ditto on everything you wrote. Honestly, why does it take making a "sexy" movie to change their images? They can do so much better.


Those poor things, haha. Yes, Elizabeth Berkley's career was definitely affected by that 'Showgirls' film. Sad. You're completely right. And, I wonder what the parents think at this moment? :-)

ravenlocks said...

It's sick, isn't it? I hope you open up some minds with this post.

There's something about this movie that looks cheap, disgusting, and dirty. They all look like they smell. It's Hollywood's pathetic attempt to glorify Spring Break when in reality college students don't really do this. I mean...some do. But I don't remember the last time I saved money so I could look and act like a whore all week long. I never did that and never will.

I have way more respect for actresses that don't whore themselves out. That quote from Selena was GOLDEN. LOL! I would never feel comfortable doing a movie like this if I knew either a) my parents would watch it or b) my YOUNG fans would watch this. Kids really do copy what they see on TV.

Do you mind if I pin this? I want to put it on my "Power to the People" board. Let me know if it's okay :)

And Happy Easter! Hope you have a great weekend <3

xo Azu

Courtney Erin said...

This movie horrifies me. And disgusts me a little. Such a commodification of women.

Courtney ~

Sherin said...

It is a shame that most female actresses have to do such 'tacky' films to get ahead in their careers. It's so ridiculous.

Carmen said...

Interesting post, I´m going to see this movie tonight and I´m curious to see if it has some serious notes at all.

Jo said...

I really learn lots of interesting celeb news from you. It's a one-stop celeb knowledge portal.

I think in order for squeaky clean actress to really be recognized for their fine acting, they have to act bad. There isn't much acting skills to portray being good. So it sometimes seems to be the sad but true case that these actresses have to go through this route.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Sex sells - but that doesn't mean I'm a fan of it in films. I think it's sad that people have to go risque to appear more mature in films and such. :/

Shybiker said...

Hollywood reflects what our society wants. And it wants to see either a Madonna/whore. Most people can't process seeing a woman acting in a nuanced or intelligent role.


Oh man, it's so hard for me to take Dakota Fanning seriosuly when I see her in fishnet stockings and whatnot. I still remember her as Tom Cruise's innocent daughter in War of the Worlds.

I don't think being portrayed in racier roles is what gets some of these young, Disney stars noticed. I think that's an exception, rather than a rule. People like Anne Hathaway made it big because she was always a talented actress. Even in Princess Diaries, she was charming. Drew Barrymore.. Dakota Fanning, et al, all had talent in the bank, which is why they made it so far, and folks like Liz Berkely and Lindsey Lohan haven't made it far (the latter is infamous for her off screen antics).

Look at Emma Watson, she, too was a child star. And though Harry Potter was not a Disney film, Watson still went on to snag some fantastic roles without having to sell herself.

I think the issue in general is that there aren't any roles left in Hollywood because Hollywood has become so devoid of originality. Very few great scripts and meaty roles are left in Hollywood, I mean, REALLY RARE, and those are going to more established actors.


A BRIT GREEK said...

I read something very similar the other day, as in these gals have got some serious roles lined up, ever since scoring roles in this Korine flick. Like Kim I don't like the route to get to where they want to be, but anyways, good luck to them and fingers crossed they don't turn out like LiLo.

MbF said...

Very good post. Sometimes young actresses think that taking on roles like this their careers would be redefine especially if the were child actors. Thanks for posting and feel free to drop by me too when you have time.

Sierra {Ocean Dreams} said...

Hi girl it's been a while but I'm so glad I'm here back at your blog! Your blog posts are always so easy to read - loved your thoughts on this subject too! I had heard that these girls had new roles but had no idea it would be so sex focused! You know I agree with you, it's really sad that they have to take these roles to try and tell the world that they can be taken seriously. :( I know for a fact that actresses should be able to do non - sexed roles and still find fame if it is in the cards for them.

Shulamit E said...

so so so true... I've been saying it for years...prostitution is key to success.. jussaying

Shannon said...

Great post! It is so true. Now - I actually kinda want to see spring break. I know that wasn't the point of this post, but still, I basically do anything you write about anyway.

Chloe Moon said...

What a sad truth this is! But then you hear about Elizabeth Berkley and it just DID NOT WORK! If I ever become a famous actress I would rather not flip a coin to see if showing my boobs will make me a star or not and try to just be a solid good actress. Hey it's working for Jennifer Lawrence?!? She's a solid great actress who just walked away with an Oscar this year and I believe no one has seen her boobs yet. Just sayin!

What a great post!! Seriously I enjoyed every word!

Ergo - Blog

Oh to Be a Muse said...

I totally get your point because I definitely think certain actresses do this, but I didn't look at Spring Breakers that way. I saw the movie over the weekend and just looked at it like a satire. It reminded me of Rosario Dawson in Kids.

Selena doesn't even do anything sexual in the movie. I thought it was more about the craziness of these bored girls becoming total gangstas and not so much about selling sex. I left the movie thinking those girls were total crazy badasses...not total crazy sluts. I think others should see the movie before they comment on these two girls in particular because it doesn't make them seem desperate at all. And James Franco as Riff-Raff...amazing!

You can probably tell that I saw this movie because of the name of my latest outfit post too. <3

bridechic said...

I didn't know Anne hathaway did such a risque indie film. She is--uber talented to handle almost anything.

issa yan said...

i completely agree! and that spring breakers movie looks terrible.


The Dainty Dolls House said...

I agree doll, it does seem that these girls have to go to an extreme to be taken seriously after doing something like Disney or do they!?! I always wonder if the role they take after is still bubblegum like and flops!?! I think in general girls do this kind of stuff to be taken seriously, because no one takes them seriously when your too cute or proper like. It's like you need to be sexual or bad ass to be taken seriously. And I don't think it should be the way, but it seems that's how it goes. You don't see it with men actors really, unless I missed them. It always seems to be girls. And I don't think you have to do a sexual or drug infested movie to be taken seriously as an actress. I think it gets you the spotlight, but not sure if it really gets you longevity. Drew Barrymore did all kinds of movies, but I don't think we would know her as much if she didn't do those movies of her as more of a good girl type character along with the ones she was wild in. But, Drew was & is at the same time a very intelligent woman and does her own thing. Angelina Jolie is the same...I think these girls just need to go their own way and think for themselves. I read an interview with Selena where she said she didn't even want to do the scenes she did in the movie, but just did them. That doesn't sound like a confident or smart thing to me. She should have done the movie if she wanted, it sounded like she just followed along...I hope not though! xx

Imogen said...

I totally agree, I hate it how girls have to go to the other extreme after doing a really girly innocent movie. I hadn't heard anything about Vanessa Hudgens since High School Musical so that's interesting she had this kind of role. I expected it even less from, her than Selena Gomez. I also found the part about Jessie Spano interesting, didn't know that either, because I loved Saved by the Bell so much.

Rosh S said...

So true, Jennifer! I didnt know about Drew Barrymore though. Love the research you put into your posts!

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