Please forgive me for a moment if I start to sound preachy and maybe a little bit like my mother, but kids these days – they’re not like they were when we were growing up. I’m pretty sure every generation says this but I look at my daughter who is now 9 and I’m a little terrified of who her role models will be when she gets a bit older. We’ve gone through the Hannah Montana phase and now we’re onto the Selena Gomez phase and while both girls are super cute when starring in their respective Family channel shows, in real life they’re a lot to live up to!
I look at the young girls around me and see tweens wearing more makeup, high heels and worrying about their hair more than I do! And I think that’s a direct result of the young women who are role models in popular culture right now. Selena Gomez is absolutely adorable, but she’s never without a full face of makeup and hair extensions and designer clothes. Or what about those girls from The Hills – with all their designer clothes and plastic surgery. Then you have The Kardashian’s who are mostly famous for sex tapes and well – I’m not sure what else to be honest with you. That’s a lot of pressure for young girls to live up to. Things just aren’t the way they were when we were young. See – there I go again sounding like my mother. Sorry.
Now, when I was a kid (and I had to walk a 10 miles to school uphill through the snow...) our role models came with a lot less flash and glamour and a lot more quirky-ness and substance. Aside from The Goonies’ adorable Kerri Green and 80’s it-girl Molly Ringwald - Winona Ryder was the actress that every girl wanted to be like when I was young. Winona’s first major role came in a movie called Beetlejuice where she played a goth teenager. That’s right. A goth teenager. Not a blonde California beach babe who wore designer bikini’s and carried Birkin bags, but a typical, regular, quirky girl. And she was adorable.
Beetlejuice was one of my favourite movies of the 80’s! The Tim Burton movie was about a girl named Lydia (played so incredibly by Winona Ryder) who moves into a new home with her parents only to find out that it’s haunted by a recently deceased couple. The deceased couple want their house back and try to scare off the new owners and enlist the help of a ‘bio-exorcist’ named Betelgeuse to help them out. Hilarity ensues and there’s also a very awesome musical number that will keep you singing Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” and “Jump in the Line” for the rest of the day.
So before Winona Ryder got all ‘five finger discount’ happy, she was the ‘it’ girl of the 80’s and 90’s. She was the kind of girl that I grew up wanting to be like and it had nothing to do with her appearance. Of course I loved her look but I loved that she had her own identity and she was her own person. The girls that I grew up wanting to be like – the Kerri Greens, the Molly Ringwalds and the Winona Ryders were all talented young actresses who were more about the movies they were in than they were about the clothes they wore or the scandals they created. And they proved the goth girl or the quirky girl can still be the lead character in a movie and not just the sidekick or punch line.
I miss having those kinds of role models for my daughter because it seems that today the girls are more about style than they are about substance. Beetlejuice is TELETOON’s Big Ticket movie this Saturday, so sit down with your kids and let them watch a fun, kinda creepy (but in a good way) movie that will have you reliving your youth and showing your kids that not all movie teens are created equal.
Scene and Heard
Confessions of a Pop Culture Mummy
More upcoming TELETOON Big Ticket Movies on
Saturdays at 7pm ET/PT:
- August 6: Cats and Dogs
- August 13: Horton Hears a Who
- August 20: Scooby Doo!: Abra Cadabra Doo
You can check out www.teletoon.com for more details.