“Can We Just Critique Her Career for a Minute?”

I’m not entirely sure why some child and teen stars have continued success well into their adulthood, or why some of them transition so smoothly without anyone ever referencing their age as if it’s a determinant of who they should be. All I know is that I’ve seen some child and teen stars continue to have great success and others almost vanish into obscurity. But the one conclusion, I have been able to garner between those who have continued success and those who don’t, is how they have handled growing up.

Yesterday I decided to listen to Zendaya’s album. I had purchased it shortly after she released it last year and had played it almost nightly for a week before turning to something else. But yesterday, as I listened to it, all I could think about was all her potential and how far she could possibly go. I foresee her being one of the few Disney channel talents that won’t always be referred to as that girl from the Disney channel. And for that I’m extremely grateful.

But it got me thinking about my own daughter and her own success if she was to ever enter stardom and if the things I currently want for Zendaya to do in her career to establish and brand herself, would be the same things I would want for my daughter. It made me think of Beyonce’s parents and the way they have supported her career and encouraged the decisions she made in it. But I also think of Kris Jenner and how she has manage her daughters’ careers and the backlash she has received for it.

I would think that if my daughter was to ever become a celebrity, that not only would I manage her career, but I would also ensure that she is presented in the best possible light in the media as possible, while still allowing her to shape and form her own identity in it. What I don’t want, is to have my daughter at the age of twenty-four still being marketed to the world as a teen. She should be able to express herself in a way reminiscent of her age and those who are of her age group, should be able to recognize her as a potential peer. Not an adolescent.

But that brings up discussions of sexuality and how young is too young for her to dress and express herself in a manner befitting of her sexuality. More importantly, as her mother and possible manager, where do I draw the line of this is good for her career and this is not want my daughter should be doing. And honestly, I don’t have the answers to those questions.

As a woman who has studied media and knows how important images are in it, in selling a product or conveying a message, I’m not sure how far I would go in pushing my daughter’s career and in her transition from child star to an adult. I’m not sure how to give her that freedom she needs to not boot me off her team once she gets a bit older because of all the say I have in creating and branding her, but I also don’t want to be too laid back in letting her make all the decisions and potentially have her go down the wrong path and her be the queen of tabloids.

What I can say is, I give it up to all the mom-angers out there, cause being both a parent and a manager and wanting the best for both your child and your client, is a very difficult thing. At least in thinking about it right now, it seems like it may be.


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