“Prettiness is a marketing construct”

April 7, 2010 at 8:20 am (movies, pop culture) (, , )

Way back in 2008, I wrote a post about what makes pop stars… pop stars.  Often they’re not more attractive or talented than other people, but I reasoned that they have a certain malleability, a certain blank slate personality that producers and stylists can heap whatever trend on.

I might be right, but I’m not nearly as right as Dustin Rowles is.  Over at Pajiba, he gave his theory of why Miley Cyrus is popular.

There are a lot of not-very-attractive people in high school who are nevertheless perceived as attractive because of their socioeconomic standing. Wealthy parents, nice clothes, and an expensive car has a way of supplying confidence. People love confidence.

Miley Cyrus, Dustin reasons, is one of those people.

She’s a terrible actress, and putting her on the same screen as Greg Kinnear makes it all the more apparent. Like most socioeconomically pretty people, her performance is based on props: When she’s sullen, in the beginning of the movie, she wears combat boots on the beach; when she falls in love, later, she wears sun dresses and tank tops. That’s the extent of her acting ability: Wardrobe changes. If it sounds like I’m being unfairly harsh on a 16 year old, it’s probably because I am. I’m kind of a dick.

The whole thing is rather brilliant and had me screaming YES at my computer screen at 3am when I couldn’t sleep, so I suggest you go and read it!

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