Another reason for dropping an

Another reason for dropping an MTV bomb on the middle east: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson! Just saw the Full House twins on MTV's Fake ID Club, and oh my… our babies are all growed up! The fifteen year-old nascent ultra-babes stand atop a media empire worth close to $1 billion! Have you seen the Mary-Kate and Ashley magazine? The Saturday Morning cartoon? The clothing line (brought to you by the world largest retailer)? The made-for-video movie series? The Gameboy games? You haven't? Well, the rising cohort of young women — sure to be the wealthiest, most powerful generation of women ever — certainly have. While not artists of the highest order, the Olson's have a bred-in-the-bone sensibility for media, marketing, and the overwhelming power of beauty and fashion (Virginia Postrel, take note!) And they know branding — they've been a brand since their earliest inkling of memory. The Taliban would not approve. And neither, I suspect, would our beloved old-school feminists. But this is what girlpower is about: using femininity to evoke aesthetic and sexual admiration, and exploting it to rule the market. Or: courting objectification for fun and profit. It's Mary-Kate and Ashley's world. We menfolk just live in it.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center