Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Schadenfreude, Sexism and Child Stars

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Mara WilsonWhile our obsession with celebrities often receives criticism for its vapidity or vanity, it seems that very few feel the need to call attention to its more damaging and pervasive issues. This is not to say that there are no criticisms of the larger issues found within and spread by Hollywood. Rather, it seems far easier to criticise pre-teen girls for their obsessive crushes on the boy band of the moment than it is to take a critical look at the predatory nature of the studios behind those boy bands, pop princesses and other young stars.

A current craze in dire need of further critical discussion is the fascination with “child stars gone wild”. In this post, journalist and guest blogger Scott Huntington asks: Why do we desire to track these train wrecks? How does this fascination shed a light on issues in Hollywood culture and/or our culture at large? Are these issues gender neutral, or do they dovetail with the ongoing struggle with sexism within our culture?

Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model: A review

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Last week Laura and Heather went to see performance artist Bryony Kimmings‘ latest show Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model (CLSRM), a collaboration with her amazing 9 year-old niece Taylor Houchen, in which she explores the growing tween industry and how ‘children are manipulated into becoming prematurely sexualised consumers’. We went with a few anxieties: we’d enjoyed talking with Bryony as our and her projects developed, including as part of a panel she organised on ‘The Age of Celebrity‘, but worried that our research had made us hypercritical of any and all representations of young people’s relationships to popular culture and celebrity. Our anxieties were misplaced, as Bryony’s found a way to capture the complexity of tweenage girlhood including showing how media savvy young people are and what adult desires are mixed up in our construction of children as innocent and in need of our protection. The show is moving, entertaining and thought-provoking and the best thing we can recommend is that you find a way to go and see it yourself. But in this post we’ll talk about a few of our impressions of the show (warning- including some spoilers).


  • School of Sport and Education, Brunel University
    Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH


Follow Us

Celebrity Culture and Young People’s Aspirations

Built with HTML5 and CSS3
Copyright © 2012

Web Design by Bowler Hat