Siobhan Magnus: A Role-Resisting Role Model For Tweens

Ratings consistently show that American Idol is a big hit with tweens, which is all the more reason I was sad to see Siobhan Magnus voted off the show on April 28. Siobhan, often labeled the "weirdest" American Idol contestant, has a personality so unique it defies definition. Consider the contradictions: Timid and almost cartoonishly mealy-mouthed when speaking, Siobhan has a singing voice that was equal parts gorgeous songbird and gratuitous sledgehammer. She wore geeky glasses offstage which matched an equally geeky persona, but her onstage outfits were outlandishly provocative, often combining punk attire with high fashion. Think: Punk Gaga.

And in this way, Siobhan provided a healthy message for tweens desperately trying to forge a distinct identity while in transit from child to teenager: Be who you are, even if you're not sure who that is. Overexposed to a music world dominated by either pretty pop princes or sex-obsessed sirens, girls need to know they, like Siobhan, are inherently cool, and require no categorization. (Siobhan herself once said on stage, "Even I can't pinpoint who I am. I'm not just one type of singer.")

But alas, who tweens truly are and whom they choose to idolize are two separate call-in numbers, and so they gave Siobhan the boot while keeping alive a handful of largely made-to-order, easy-to-digest idols. I do hope, though, that to some of them, Siobhan was indeed a role model -- mostly in that she resisted stepping into any role at all.

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