August 28, 2013
Miley Cyrus played the role of the perfect little girl on television for most of her adolescent life, and her real life mirrored the pretend life that she led. She stood for everything American. She was sweet, adorable, cute, wholesome, but most importantly, she was grounded. Miley seemed to always say and do the right thing. She stood for family values, openly talked about her spirituality, and behaved responsibly throughout her preteen years. And so, she served as a role model for the all of the prepubescent girls and most of the teenage girls of this generation. Parents loved Miley as much as their children did because she represented similar ideals to what they were trying to teach their children, but she was also their peer. But, Miley has fallen out of the good graces of parents because of a string of recent unfamiliar behaviors, the last being an overtly sexual, disjointed and awkward performance at the Video Music Awards (VMA’s).
The performance started with Miley tramping down stairs with her tongue forced out of a sharp snarl. Giant teddy bears with the same discordant countenance covered the stage and background dancers wore shirts displaying the bears. Miley Cyrus began “twerking” or shaking her butt to the music while singing. She bent over and gyrated wearing a snarling teddy bear bathing suit that she tore off to reveal a nude two piece. Robin Thicke, another popular entertainer and sex symbol who is possibly literally twice her age came on stage and Miley began grinding on him and even stroked his groin onstage. Shock and displeasure could be seen in the facial expressions of the crowd. This a far cry from the innocent Hannah Montana days and the media has been on fire with vitriolic comments about her performance.
However, no one should lambaste Miley Cyrus for her skanky display on the VMA’s, because everyone should be able to empathize with her. Miley Cyrus is on the cusp of becoming a woman. She is old enough and physically mature enough to be considered an adult, but she is still finding her way emotionally and sexually. Miley is growing up to the lament of her parents (see the rift between her and her dad) and her fans. And, growing up can be difficult without the entire world watching your every step. or in this case misstep. Look at Johnny Manziel. Before he won the Heisman Trophy, he was just a rich kid who could really play football. But, with his success came recognition, expectations, and unfortunately, scrutiny. He is unraveling before our eyes with partying and drinking. Many other child stars come to mind immediately. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Amanda Bynes and countless other child stars are having difficulty becoming adults in the public eye.
Miley Cyrus has been in the limelight since her childhood. She starred in commercials as a toddler, came to fame as a preteen, and starred in her own show for most of her adolescence. Miley reached womanhood working as a Disney kid. She had to suppress her sexuality to embody a benign asexual character that other people expected her to be. Normal kids rebel. What do you expect a 20 year old who has had to represent the moral fiber of a generation and enough money to fulfill her wildest dreams to do? Well, you might expect her to corrupt teddy bears, grope an older man, and shake her butt in front of the world.
Miley might have made a mistake with her performance, however this type of behavior should be expected from anyone at this age. She lived a sheltered life, and she is meeting new people and experiencing new adventures. Everyone has made regrettable decisions in their lifetime, but most of us had the good fortune to not have those mistakes broadcast before the world. Miley Cyrus is not out of control. She is not going crazy. Miley Cyrus is a young woman who is discovering who she wants to be as a woman. The ideal woman in most people’s heads exudes sexiness, and the line between sexy and raunchy can be blurred at her age (Yes, that was a reference to the Robin Thicke song, Blurred Lines. Full circle).