Jun 13, 2017

Pre-Teen Teen Idols

When I was a kid, teen idols were young adults.

David Cassidy released his first single when he was 20 years old.

John Travolta first played Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back, Kotter at age 21.

Child labor regulations make it difficult to work with juveniles under the age of 18, and besides, if you want a performer to appeal to adults as well as kids, it helps if they're not jail bait.

But they're getting younger and younger.  According to Teen Idols 4 You, the top 20 idols today are:

1. Jacob Sartorius (left), social media singer, age 14

2. Jace Norman of Henry Danger, age 17.  And he's been in the show for three years.

3. Johnny Orlando, musician, age 14

4. Mace Coronel of the Nickelodeon teencom Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, age 13

5. Matty B, singer, age 14.

6. Asa Butterfield (left), movie actor, age 20.  First became a teen idol in 2008, when he was nine.  There are more shirtless pictures of Asa Butterfield, or someone like him, here.

7. Asher Angel (left) of Andi Mack, age 14.

8.Hunter Payton, age not given, but probably around 10.

I blame the fragmentation of mass media, with programming only for kids, tweens, and teens, so the actors and musicians don't have to worry about appealing to an adult audience.

9. Aiden Gallagher (left) of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, age 13

10. Justin Bieber, age 23.  Rather long-in-the-tooth, as modern teen idols go.

And social media, which allows performers to become famous without "paying their dues" through years of low-paying jobs.  Instead, they burst onto the scene with one or two songs or some youtube clips.

More after the break.

11. Daniel Skye (left), singer, age 16.

12. Casey Simpson of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, age 13.

It detracts from the whole meaning of the term "teen idol" as someone who draws a child into an awareness of their own same-sex desire (or cross-sex desire, for girls).  How do they accomplish that while looking at a poster of a 13-year old?

13. Tom Holland (left), movie actor, age 21.

14.Elias Harger of Fuller House, age 9.

It makes watching juvenile tv difficult to.  No beefcake to look at.

15. David Mazouz of Touch, age 16.

16. Zac Efron, age 29.

17. Hayden Byerly (left), of Parenthood, age 16.

18. Jason Ian Drucker of Every Witch Way, age 11.

19. Ethan Wacker of Rizaardvark, age 15

20. Sean O'Donnell, movie star, age 21.

Ok, Sean O'Donnell has potential.  But while waiting for Jason Ian Drucker and Ethan Wacker to grow up, I think I'll look at my collection of Robbie Benson photos.


  1. I completely understand that you want to find and post shirtless pics of the subjects, but your google searches may be failing you in correctly identifying them. Your picture of number 17, Hayden Byerly, is Gavin McIntosh. Both of these actors often appear together, since they were a couple who shared a kiss on the Fosters. I'm not sure that number 6 is Asa Butterfield, either.

  2. Hi. Not sure who #6 is, but it's not Asa B. Asa has the most gorgeous blue eyes. Look up Enders Game. Thanks for posting all these

  3. 2 things:

    1. currently, the biggest "tween" idols are probably the young cast of 'stranger things' X the young cast of 'It' (the new feature film version); some of them appear in both.

    2. i don't find it hard to understand why the casting is getting younger (if it really is, which is an open question). if the actors/performers are the same age as their primary-intended audience, or close to it (perhaps moreso slightly older, rather than slightly younger?), it makes them easier to identify with. & the producers & distributors are probably not too worried about "losing" other viewers (if they actually do).

    also; there is always that old chestnut about how: the kids aren't getting younger, we're just getting older... ;p

    & celebrity has changed; the internet makes the celebs who use it more "accessible", or seem that way. in some ways it does make them less remote. you see more of them & their lives. that being the case, it's easier to identify with "idols" who are in your own age group. the internet has also generated a vastly larger number of celebrities, & celebrity-want-to-bes/aspirants/whatever.

    & perhaps the industry is getting more efficient, in use of talent? (in several ways; it seems like child actors who want to continue performing have more opportunites now, than in the past)

    & i digress, massively. ending now xD

    1. I think they're getting younger. David Cassidy was 19 when he became a star, Shawn Cassidy was 18, Robbie Benson was 20. There were child actors in the 1970s, but they rarely received the intense publicity of a "teen idol."

  4. (& they're right; definitely not asa. though i would be interested to know who that is, he's cute! :)


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