Pop culture shock: ‘Introducing Me’— Nick Jonas 2.0
Columnist McKenna Bulkley tackles how to grow up, celebrity style.
Nick Jonas is back…and it’s kind of weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I think his new stuff is pretty good, but it’s just strange to see the youngest Jonas brother taking pictures of himself grabbing his junk all over the Internet. I know he’s older than me, so in theory it makes sense that he’s now an adult, but I still think of the preteen with a curly mop top who was dating preteen Miley Cyrus.
It’s not like Nick Jonas is doing a bad job shedding his Disney dude image –– he took a break and came back with a different sound and look without going over the top trying to prove himself (like another ex-Disney star I can think of). But it seems as if the rest of the world is also having a little trouble adjusting to this new Jonas persona.
His three most popular songs on Spotify are all from 2014, but number four is “Introducing Me” from “Camp Rock 2.” And the recommended artists on the side of his profile include Vanessa Hudgens and The Cast of Camp Rock 2.
It’s not that it is impossible to break out of the child star shell and into the “real world” — it totally is. It just takes time and a whole lot of maturity.
Let’s take Hilary Duff, for example. In 2007 she came out with her album “Dignity,” which I’m pretty sure tanked because I hadn’t heard of it until I just looked her up for this column. So she took a break, got married, had a child, didn’t do drugs or get a DUI or anything stupid like that, and now she’s about to come out with another album and her new single is all over the radio. She gets to stay current and keep making music now at age 27, and she hasn’t gone to jail or otherwise made a fool of herself, so, good for her.
Even Aaron Carter, who I just saw in concert with a few friends (yes, he sang “I Want Candy,” and yes, I was a total fangirl) is working on a comeback. He’s not quite at “Hit Single” status just yet, but he’s getting there, slowly but surely.
And how did he do it? He took a break. Just like Hilary Duff. Just like Nick Jonas. All of these guys took a break from the red carpets and the tours and all that and let themselves grow up. Obviously, I can’t speak from experience, but growing up in the spotlight can’t be easy. Being 14 was an awful experience pretty much all around, and to have it documented all over the Internet for millions of people to see and comment on doesn’t help.
Now let’s look at a not-so-great example: Miley Cyrus.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Miley. I’ve listened to “Bangerz” more times than I probably would admit to in court. But I think she was so focused on shedding her Disney image she took it a bit too far. Just because you can smoke pot on stage doesn’t mean you should. We get it, you’re an adult. You can be a sex object now if you want to be. You play by your own rules. All of these things are great, but I feel she’s only doing them to flip off Disney, the very company who got her started.
But back to Nick Jonas: I think if he just gives it time, eventually he’ll shed his teeny-bopper Disney days and be able to go in the new direction he’s looking for. After he releases a few more songs, he might even knock “Introducing Me” off his top five songs on Spotify, although that would be heartbreaking for the rest of us.