The salacious hype and general ennui of our day is conveyed in so many discussions about 's Spring Breakers. From reviews to editorials, many are making the predictable assertion that Disney princesses like and dump the House of Mouse by doing bad things in bikinis.
These pieces end up being about the way we look at all actresses, whether they know it or not. They're a Paula Cole song pegged to the glossy tabloids at your local supermarket when graced the covers years ago -- Where have all the good girls gone? But young stars' potential and letdown is a media tale as old as time, not a x17 invention.
It's true that the Spring Breakers pack take off their clothes, freebase Vitamin-B12 in the guise of cocaine, and force to fellate the barrel of a gun. But these pieces -- from "Gosh, We're Bad Now" in The New York Times to "In Praise of , the Anti-Spring Breaker" on Vulture -- fail to acknowledge the candy-coated brilliance of its of-age celebrities choosing to participate in a film. They also discount Korine's role as an Indie director turning out solid, surprising performances. It subverts our perception of people by capturing camp that ends up being true to life.
Oftentimes, these articles take sides. They're bizarrely misogynistic or describe the actresses playing anti-heroines as victims. They discredit that these adults know very well what they're doing. The women of Spring Breakers remind me of a very demented .
They seduce people for fun and for information, they curse, and they kill. Whereas Grier's working class characters -- from a nurse to a photojournalist -- revealed the struggles of street life, Korine's leading ladies showcase American college privilege under an umbrella of sex, power, and thug life from a bygone MTV era. It's fascinating. But the discussions of these specific actresses with severely different circumstances are lumped into one category, unable to win no matter what. It's as troubling as it is yawn inducing.
I can't help but feel at a loss when these articles address . Her 2007 nude photo scandal is irrelevant, but it's brought up time and time again. She has no Disney reputation to set ablaze by appearing in this movie because the press did that for her long ago. In retrospect, her scandal seems more like a real high school musical than anything we saw in her trilogy with . It catapulted Hudgens to what THR recently dubbed a mocktress, gracing the covers as a flower child of the sex generation at 24-years-old. By aligning herself with a director as notable as Korine, she has the opportunity to be taken seriously -- more seriously than anyone would've probably predicted when she was in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch.
For better or worse, fandom has always required us to dissect and analyze the current crop of upcoming actresses, but it's not just limited to the Disney scenario. We pick apart A-Listers, whether they're transitioning into adulthood or not. is annoying. is a home wrecker. Who is ? is relatable because she smokes weed in Hawaii after winning an Oscar.
These are the same kinds of conversations that existed in a pre-Perez Hilton day. We called Alicia Silverstone fat when she was trying to break into Batman after Clueless. Way back when, Lucille Ball was considered a failed actress before showcasing comedic genius in I Love Lucy.
We live in that weird world where pop culture and art intersect. And it's how we categorize different levels of fame. The argument that is more relatable for flipping off the press is the same thing as posting high quality dance productions with her friends to YouTube. The only difference is that Lawrence has an Oscar and Gomez is smart and lucky enough to have chosen a role in a modern camp classic.