Published on October 28, 2013 | by Raghad Bezizi

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Why I am no better than Miley Cyrus

ALN deputy interactive editor, Raghad Bezizi [Emanuele Giovagnoli]

It is bags of fun to mock, sneer and judge the young celebrity; the starlet whose life you never had and never want to have had (although, this judgement is only ever made in hindsight from the perspective of a sane adult).

The majority, including myself, may believe that if we were placed in the celebrity spotlight we would not be criticised for embarrassing, shameless or irritating behaviour simply because we wouldn’t conduct ourselves in a way that would make people hate us.

Who else likes to think they’d be a Jennifer Lawrence, where everyone would applaud our humility, humour and golden hair?

I do, I daydream about winning Oscars and falling over all the time.

But I never imagine I could have become a Lindsay Lohan, a Justin Bieber, a 2007-edition Britney, or a Miley Cyrus until now.

Prepare to travel back in time as I share with you the most intimate secret of my childhood.

When I was between the ages of five and six I had an alter-ego named ‘Teacher Party’. She was a teacher who taught others how to party. Her teaching methods were stern yet compassionate and I’m going to stop referring to Teacher Party in the third person now because I was Teacher Party and maybe I am still Teacher Party.

My transformation into my alter-ego was complete once I had wrapped a sofa blanket around my waist, gelled my hair into a severe centre-parting, started affectionately patting people on the head and/or practising my ‘wink’, and insisting that everybody address me as ‘Teacher Party’.

Was I a creepy child? To those who can’t recognise when a child is ahead of their time intellectually and emotionally, maybe I was. Nevertheless, Teacher Party did not last for long and as my interest in BackStreet Boys and complex carbohydrates grew, my alter-ego waned and eventually disappeared.

Why did I tell you that disturbing story? Because Teacher Party could have been Hannah Montana.

Hear me out. Any reputable talent scout, given the opportunity, would have seen the undeniable market potential for a character as multi-dimensional and compelling as Teacher Party. Let’s imagine I had been snapped up by the Disney Channel to star in my own show about the ‘everyday normal kid’ who taught you how to ‘party’ by day, but by night showed you how it’s really done by being a real party queen (upon reflection I understand that this sounds slightly erotic but I refuse to apologise for my sensual nature).

Say the show was a hit, and I could now see posters of myself around the city with my arms folded in a sassy-manner, with the title ‘TEACHER PARTY’ in pink sparkles slapped across the top and the slogan “Practice what you TEACH” along the bottom – I’ve thought this through.

Now triple the amount of people were telling me that I was special; so special that I had to be taken out of school and be taught by a tutor.

I’d feel a constant craving for attention and a desire to break free from a childish image, finding temporary relief through outrageous and adulterated antics that were encouraged by my publicist yet loathed by the public who, bizarrely, made me money by hating me.

So special that other kids that watched me on TV actually cried when they saw me in person – and not like when I smile at a baby on a train and it starts screaming as though it had just seen the apocalypse in my eyes – but like they loved me so much they couldn’t control their emotions and all they wanted was to be me, or at the very least my friend.

Yet funnily enough in reality I didn’t have that many friends, because leading a public life limits your options for private friendships. I guess that would have turned me into a small, confused attention seeker.

In this hypothetical scenario my life could have panned out in such a hideously different way; I would be criticised for complaining about the paparazzi selling photos of me tripping over my disproportionately large feet to the media and which claimed I was high on ketamine.

I would be criticised for admitting I was scared from the hate mail I received once I started dating a guy from Teacher Party‘s rival hit show, Jazz Dudes – a show about a group of high-school boys who loved to play jazz – because rich kids aren’t allowed to complain and celebrities should expect and welcome all forms of attention.

As I contemplate the ‘what if’ course of this life, I would see myself spiralling into a depression that recycled feelings of distrust of everyone around me.

I’d feel a constant craving for attention and a desire to break free from a childish image, finding temporary relief through outrageous and adulterated antics that were encouraged by my publicist yet loathed by the public who, bizarrely, made me money by hating me.

Someone would probably set up a hate-site called ‘Preacher Farty’, maybe someone would leak nude photos of me to the media. Hell, maybe I would do it myself. I’d probably be forced to go to rehab whether I needed it or not. Dr. Phil would label me a bad role-model because I was supposedly responsible for a generation.

Maybe I’d shave my hair off and stab a paparazzo with an umbrella – salute to the Queen of Pop please. Maybe I’d accidentally-on-purpose leave a nightclub without underwear on and lunge into a taxi, realise I didn’t have any friends then have a mental breakdown while the world watched and laughed.

Too dramatic?

To cram my long-winded point into a nutshell; this wasn’t my life. I had the privilege of making genuine friends without too much concern about being taken advantage of.

I had the gift of being able to make foolish mistakes and bad decisions without widespread judgement or colossal consequences. My body weight is not monitored and reported in consumer magazines and photographers don’t try to take illegal photos of me in my house.

Then again, nobody wants to see exclusive snaps of me eating family-sized portions of lasagne and crying over dog food adverts.

These aspects have made my life and personality possibly better than that of Miley Cyrus, but in the supposed instance that I had the upbringing and life-plan of a young celebrity, I would be, and am no better than Miley Cyrus.

And perhaps, neither are you.

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