Love is in the Air...But is it On the Air?

by Beth WiesemannJanuary 3, 2014 

Ah, the complexities of love; it’s rivaled only by the United States Tax Code. Luckily, whenever I’m in need of comfort or advice in matters of the heart, I have something far more reliable than the IRS to turn to. Turn on any radio – or should I say your phone, your MP3 player, your wristwatch, your tennis shoe, your sports bra, or whatever else now plays music – and you’re a heartbeat away from someone who has something to say about love. As with most important topics in the modern age, I like to cut through all the garbage and go right to the people who have the most significant voices. Obviously, I’m talking about former Disney TV stars turned pop singers.

Consider this: Since the last time I wrote an article about love, Justin Timberlake has brought sexy back, Christina Aguilera has become a mentor and Miley Cyrus has made it okay for an adult to wear a onesie in public. These are people who are making a difference! What has Johnny Mathis done for us lately? Not only is Barry Manilow not writing songs that make the whole world sing, the last time he mentored someone on American Idol, the makeup person didn’t even know who he was. When asked to touch up Barry’s face, the kid powdered the piano tech’s nose.

Thanks to Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus, I’ve also learned to be more cautious about giving away my love to just anyone. Demi has to put up her defenses because falling in love would give her a heart attack. Miley, on the other hand, likens love-gone-wrong to a wrecking ball. I’m not sure if soured love would give me a heart attack, but I’m pretty sure an actual wrecking ball coming at my head would. At any rate, Miley’s right to be concerned. I’m not sure if an achy breaky heart is a hereditary, congenital abnormality, but since her father, Billy Ray, suffered from it, she can’t be too cautious. Her short hair is also a wise decision. It’s risky enough to swing around naked on a wrecking ball in a music video. Having an especially long mullet to get tangled up in the chain would probably have made it impossible to get insurance for the shoot.

At some point in this article, I had planned on drawing comparisons between today’s Disney stars and the wholesome stars of yesteryear. But frankly, I’m shocked. Annette Funicello – arguably the most famous Mousketeer ever – wasn’t quite as pure as I had thought. My research lead me to an old video of the title song from the classic beach movie, Beach Blanket Bingo. There’s a beach. There’s a blanket. But there is definitely NO Bingo! I’m beginning to think that “Bingo” was code for something else. And after seeing all of the scantily-clad women gyrating around in front of the camera, I firmly believe that bingo was the ‘60s version of twerking. (If I have to explain what twerking is, look up the video for Beach Blanket Video and use your imagination.)

Whatever the setting, love songs have always brought about a sense of something intense, confusing and at times, slightly naughty. Maybe it only seemed more innocent in the sunlight of the beach. Nowadays, music videos tend to be shot in grungy warehouses with horrible lighting and long, flowing curtains that blow across the room incessantly. Is that supposed to be a metaphor? Love is like darkness, waiting for the window to be open to let in the light. If you’re not careful, the curtain will blow into your face and you get all tangled up until you fall really hard onto the concrete floor and break something.

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