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In Defense of Good Girls

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In Defense of Good Girls

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It didn’t surprise me in the least to see that Reese Witherspoon was honored with the “Generation Award” at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night. Long a respected actress, she deserves recognition for all her accomplishments.

What did catch me off guard was her subsequent acceptance speech, in which Reese reminded girls watching across America—“it’s possible to make it in Hollywood without making a sex tape.”

It’s true, I thought to myself—it must be! That is certainly what Reese and generations of actresses have proven. Beginning her career at an early age and slowly climbing the ranks to stardom, Reese serves almost as the spokesperson for the era when “making it” was the product of raw talent, struggle, and perseverance.

But today’s biggest teen and twenty-something stars have taken another path. Judging by gossip magazines and E! news, drugs, sex and scandal are the new hard work and resolve. The best-known stars are the ones with the least control. Even clean starlets like Blake Lively and Miley Cyrus have become embroiled in nude photo and drug controversies. I have to wonder, Can no one rise up the “good old fashioned way”?

Young girls across America are coming away from the tabloids and TV shows with the same impression. The idea that ‘being bad is cool’ grows more compelling with every celebrity slip-up. And as young stars deteriorate into spirals of scandal, drinking and drug abuse, so do their adoring young fans. Hollywood’s young stars don’t seem to realize the mantle they carry for the next generation.

And this is a trend that needs to be reversed. I admire that Reese Witherspoon has come forward to set a different example. “For all the girls out there,” said Witherspoon, "it's possible to be a good girl. I'm going to try to make it cool." In fact, I think she already has.

What's your take on good girls and bad girls in Hollywood?

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